is a British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
transport consultancy and research organisation based at Wokingham Berkshire with approximately 500 staff. TRL is owned by the Transport Research Foundation (TRF), which is overseen by 80 sector members from the transport industry. TRL also own small UK regional offices situated in Manchester, Wales and Scotland. Key areas of work for TRL include the assessment of road and vehicle safety, transport infrastructure, environmental assessment and traffic management.
Originally established in 1933 by the UK Government as the Road Research Laboratory
(RRL) and later the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL).
During the Second World War the Laboratory contributed to the war effort. Among its contributions, under William Glanville
Sir William Henry Glanville CB CBE was a British civil engineer. During WWII he and the Road Research Laboratory were involved in important war work, developing temporary runways, beach analysis, and tank and aircraft design...
, were research that aided the development of plastic armour
Plastic armour was a type of vehicle armour originally developed for merchant ships by Edward Terrell of the British Admiralty in 1940...
, the bouncing bomb
A bouncing bomb is a bomb designed specifically to bounce to a target across water in a calculated manner, in order to avoid obstacles such as torpedo nets, and to allow both the bomb's speed on arrival at the target and the timing of its detonation to be pre-determined...
and the Disney bomb
The Disney Bomb, also known as the Disney Swish, was a rocket-assisted bunker buster bomb developed during the Second World War by the British Royal Navy to penetrate hardened concrete targets, such as submarine pens, that could resist conventional free-fall bombs...
It became an agency of the UK Department for Transport in 1992 and changed its name to Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).
It was controversially privatised in 1996.
Since privatisation, TRL has become increasingly commercially focused and consultancy oriented, actively seeking high-margin and low-risk contracts, but some profits are still reinvested in the company for qualifying research work and to support its long-term business aims.
TRL has expanded its customer base to include local government and the private sector, and has also recently refocused its international work towards the Middle East, opening offices in several Gulf States.
Legal & General
Legal & General Group Plc , commonly known as Legal & General, is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. Its products include life insurance, general insurance, pensions and investments. It has operations in the United Kingdom, Egypt, France, Germany,...
own and lease out many of the remaining buildings and track facilities of the former government laboratory to a variety of private businesses including TRL who have consolidated their staff on the lower floors of an open-plan office built inside the test track.
Bracknell Forest is a unitary authority and borough in Berkshire in southern England. It covers the towns of Bracknell, North Ascot, Sandhurst, Crowthorne and surrounding villages and hamlets.-History:...
Borough council refused planning permission to convert the site into a ‘mini-town’ in 2008, although the remaining portions of the test track will become redundant when the TRL lease expires in 2011.
This will continue a long-term decline in facilities in favour of desktop studies and contracted out test work. However, TRL have taken this opportunity to develop new collaborative agreements with specialist test tracks in the UK and have continued to enhance their laboratory test facilities and simulation capabilities.
Recent adjustments in staff levels will have helped enable TRL to meet the new definition of a small-medium enterprise for the purposes of HMRC R&D tax relief.