The Enquirer understands that emails were sent to 2,900 workers in the division this week warning that job cuts of up to 20% are being considered.
The cull comes on top of 1,800 job losses last year as Atkins reacted swiftly to the downturn by cutting staff across the board.
The transport business escaped relatively unscathed from the first round of redundancies which were focused on the UK building and Middle East operations.
But the Government’s planned capital spending cuts mean new road and infrastructure spending will virtually grind to a halt in the coming years.
An Atkins spokesperson told the Enquirer: “We are in discussion with colleagues in our Highways & Transportation business following anticipated public sector spending cuts on transportation projects.
“The uncertainty of the impact of UK public spending cuts continues and we are prepared for a period of tighter Government spending.
“We continue to work with our clients to understand and work through the impact of any cuts they have to make. It is our policy not to comment on details of individual clients’ contracts or discussions with our colleagues.”
The cuts mirror a recent announcement at WSP which is shedding transport staff as a new wave of job losses sweep across the consulting sector.
One Atkins staffer told the Enquirer: “This has happened so quickly that people are in a daze.
“At our latest results presentation last month profits at highways and transport were up and it was seen as a success story.
“But everything seems to have changed overnight as the full impact of the transport cuts start dawning on everyone.”
The redundancy consultation process is expected to last four months with the first victims leaving in October.