News

Phil Jones Associates acquires Multimodal

Phil Jones Associates is very pleased to announce that it has acquired the majority shareholding in transport modelling firm Multimodal.

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Established in 2012, Multimodal delivers all elements of microsimulation modelling from concept design testing to fully detailed option modelling and analysis and has firmly established itself in the industry, undertaking projects on behalf of high profile clients sch as Jaguar Land Rover and Land Securities. 

PJA and Multimodal have worked together numerous times over the last three years, most recently on the prestigious Bournemouth Winter Gardens project which involved a complex reorganisation of street hierarchies and transport flows. Multimodal  were brought in to help clients understand the implications of the scheme and present information to assist with planning applications and stakeholder consultation. 

Nigel Millington of PJA said: “We have been seeking to establish our own modelling arm for a while now to enhance our service to clients. Having worked with Multimodal across several projects, we are familiar with their set up and have first-hand experience of their superb skills in microsimulation. We are delighted that they will be joining the PJA fold as a subsidiary.”

Luke Best, founder of Multimodal said: “With PJA as our parent company we are now in a position to grow and expand far more quickly than we'd be able to do on our own. Their support and experience will be invaluable in developing Multimodal. PJA is rapidly expanding across the UK and has a wealth of experience and an impressive client list; to join the firm at this time of unprecedented growth is very exciting. Meanwhile, it will be business-as-usual for all our existing clients and we will continue to pursue our own projects albeit with a far broader remit than we were able to offer before.”

Before establishing Multimodal, Managing Director Luke Best worked in transport modelling for a number of the large UK multidisciplinary engineering firms including Aecom, Amey and WSP. He established Multimodal in 2012 in order to develop a specialist service to test proposals as well as assist in the visualisation of a project with use of specialist 3D software packages. Multimodal's team have moved into new office accommodation alongside the PJA base in Birmingham.

Enquiries for microsimulation modelling should be directed to Luke Best at Multimodal on 07870 983386 or by email.

 

Cycling Minister joins PJA and British Cycling on study tour to Copenhagen

Robert Goodwill admitted to being 'blown away' by the difference between Danish and British cycling infrastructure after touring Copenhagen.

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Mr Goodwill joined British Cycling policy adviser, Chris Boardman, and Phil Jones of PJA in the Danish capital, which is known as one of the world's best cycling cities thanks to sustained investment, high quality infrastructure and a culture of mutual respect between motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.

Read further details and watch the video here.

PJA to revamp Leicester's Golden Mile

Leicester City Council has appointed Phil Jones Associates and Opun Design East Midlands to draw up plans for a major revamp of the Golden Mile in Leicester.

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Annabel Keegan, principal consultant at Phil Jones Associates, said: "We are very excited to have been appointed by Leicester City Council to undertake this key project. The Golden Mile is a fantastic asset to the city, and is home to a wonderful selection of shops and restaurants and attracts people from all over the UK. 

"It is also traffic dominated and congested. Over the next few months we look forward to working with local businesses and residents to discuss their views and concerns, and to develop design ideas to redress this balance and improve the area."

Read the press coverage here.

Green light means go

Development planning is at the very core of our business and since the turn of the year we have helped to secure planning consent on a number of projects, providing transport assessments, transport statements and highway design on behalf of clients including St. Modwen, Bloor Homes, Lioncourt, Inland Homes Homes and JG Chatham Ltd.

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For Kitchener Barracks, the mixed use, residential led scheme in Chatham Kent on behalf of JG Chatham Ltd we provided a transport assessment using GIS to demonstrate the sustainable credentials of the site. We also undertook a detailed assessment of the traffic impact of the proposals on the highway network within Chatham Town Centre and provided detailed assistance to the project team to achieve a deliverable scheme which overcame significant level differences on the site.

Planning consent was granted in May for the residential led mixed-use development which will comprise up to 260 dwellings and commercial space.

Elsewhere, we have been working with Lioncourt Homes since 2012, in relation to the development of land at Keresley which falls within the Greenbelt. The development proposals include up to 800 dwellings, a primary school, a local centre and community uses. We successfully secured ‘no objection’ from both Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council as well as the Highways Agency. 

Our services included the preparation of written representations for the core strategy and the preparation of a transport assessment, framework travel plan and a mitigation strategy to accompany an outline planning application. 

The transport assessment alone included our full range of services providing advice on the vehicle access strategy, internal layout, public transport strategy and business case, junction modelling and design and travel planning. 

In March we were part of a team that helped to secure planning consent for the second phase of St. Modwen’s Meon Vale community near Stratford-upon-Avon.  

PJA prepared all the transport planning inputs to the project, including detailed PARAMICS modelling of town centre highway improvements and specifying bus service enhancements. PJA director Nigel Millington addressed the committee and responded to the various transport related questions.

Consent was granted for up to 550 more family homes and a primary school as well as highway improvements and the relocation of a holiday village of self-catering lodges, holiday homes and caravan pitches.

Quartet of new commissions

In the first half of 2015 we have successfully secured a number of new commissions from both the private and public sector and across the country. 

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PJA are providing transport advice to Inland Homes on a range of sites across the Southeast of England and have helped secure planning consent on a number of large scale schemes, including the redevelopment of the Bournemouth Winter Gardens and the Former Meridian TV Studios in Southampton. The Winter Gardens project involved detailed design of a shared space scheme for one of the principle arteries through the town and the preparation of a VISSIM microsimulation model to demonstrate the impact.

PJA are currently commissioned on a number of high profile schemes including the redevelopment of the Chapel Riverside in Southampton and the former gas works site in High Wycombe as well as a number of smaller residential sites in Essex, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire. PJA are also utilising GIS software to provide initial access and sustainability advice on the feasibility of taking forward a range of other residential schemes through to planning applications.

Lidl, the German discount food store, has also appointed PJA to provide transport planning advice.  Transport planning and urban design advice was recently provided for a new store in Yardley, Birmingham, high level access advice was provided for a potential store in Dunstable, and urban design advice was provided for a proposed store in Malden, Essex.  PJA have also recently been approached by Lidl to advise on a further seven sites in the Midlands where expansion of existing stores is being considered.

In the public sector, PJA has been appointed to Hertfordshire County Council’s property framework, which will be used by the council to appoint property consultants to assist them in the delivery of key projects across the county until 2019.

PJA has already won the first of these mini-competitions as it has been selected to advise Hertfordshire County Council on seven primary and secondary school expansion projects which aim to deliver state-of-the-art facilities for children in the county.

Also in Hertfordshire, but external to the aforementioned framework, we have started work on a new shared space scheme in Buntingford.

Annabel Keegan, Principal Consultant with PJA, recently presented initial design concepts to Buntingford Town Council the scheme which aims to re-establish a sense of place and improve safety for pedestrians.

Annabel said: "The design concepts address the gradual erosion in the quality of place that has arisen in Buntingford over the years as a result of traffic growth, and present an opportunity to reconsider the approach to the design and management of vehicle and pedestrian movement, allowing the potential to improve safety and liveability."

Double the turnover, double the staff in just two years!

It’s been a record two years at PJA. Since 2013 we have doubled our turnover and the size of our team; the number of new projects has increased by 30% and the size and scale of these projects has risen too.

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Whilst this is indicative of the recovering property market, it also reflects our growing ambitions. In 2015 alone we have appointed five new specialists to drive work in new geographical regions and new specialisms.

Adrian Lord has joined as an Associate Director and Jon Tricker as a Director. 

Adrian specialises in cycling and sustainable transport work. He is a member of the DfT cycle proofing working group and is retained as infrastructure advisor to British Cycling. He is currently collaborating with PJA founder Phil Jones to update the cycling content of the Highways Agency’s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and is also preparing PJA’s cycling strategy. Adrian will also be looking to expand opportunities in the North following our recent appointment by Leeds Metropolitan University to review their Headingley Campus.

Jon Tricker is already in the process of establishing a new office in Bristol’s Temple Quay, following a number of new business wins in the South West. Jon brings 20 years’ experience in transport masterplanning, development planning, transport assessment and urban realm design and joins the firm from Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Other new recruits at the Birmingham head office include Joe Wooldridge, a transport consultant with 4 years’ experience who joins PJA from Royal Haskoning, and Antoine Francois, a qualified landscape architect specialising in streetscape enhancements.  PJA has also recruited three graduates into the Birmingham and Reading offices as part of their new Graduate Development Programme.

Nigel Millington, Director at PJA said: “These recruits are a reflection of our confidence in the market and a requirement of the growth of our business generally. We are going from strength to strength with new business wins across the country and are delighted to be able to invest in our expansion both in terms of planners and offices.”