News

Is shared space dangerous?

Phil Jones was interviewed on radio recently regarding the safety of shared space schemes, in response to comments from campaign groups for blind and visually impaired people.

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You can listen to the full interview here.

Phil Jones Associates wins work on multi-million pound TfL Quietways contract

PJA has been confirmed as part of the high profile team led by walking and cycling charity Sustrans to deliver the first of Transport for London’s £120 million Quietways cycle network announced by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson this week. 

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Worth £4.8 million over three years, the contract will see PJA help design and deliver the routes which will give cyclists a direct, pleasant, back street alternative to busy main roads. PJA will bring specialist modelling techniques and design skills to the team. A team of up to five PJA staff will work on the contract.

Construction is about to start on the first two routes, which will run from central London to Greenwich and Hackney and open in May next year, with a later extension to Walthamstow. 

Five more routes are at the design stage and around two dozen more will be delivered or in progress by 2016. Every London borough will be served by the Quietways. 

Phil Jones, founder and managing director of PJA said: 'This is a major boost for PJA’s London office and will be a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio of cycling projects. Using our expertise in urban design and cycling infrastructure we will ensure that the Cycleways Programme is at the forefront of design principles.

Cycling is undoubtedly experiencing a renaissance across the UK, but London is really stealing the march on other areas with its significant investment in this city-wide network. We are already advising places such as Norwich and Southwark on the development of their cycle networks and hope that London’s example will encourage other towns and cities throughout the UK to invest in cycling.'

Sustrans London Director, German Dector-Vega, said: 'Sustrans is really pleased to be working with PJA on the Quietways programme which is just one part of a much larger cycling transformation happening in the capital.'

Unlike the old London Cycle Network, Quietways will be direct and clearly signed, mostly on the road itself, making it difficult for cyclists to lose their way. Because they are on lower-traffic roads, they will be largely unsegregated. The main interventions on the vast majority of the network will be waymarking, surfacing improvements where necessary, removing barriers such as chicanes and improving the flow of the route. 

However, where directness demands the Quietway briefly join a main road, full segregation and direct crossing points will be provided, wherever possible, on that stretch. Quietways will be particularly suited to new cyclists. 

Innovators in Dutch cycle design, Royal Haskoning; leaders in inclusive cycling, Wheels for Wellbeing; and road safety experts, Local Transport Projects will work alongside PJA and Sustrans to deliver Quietways.

Phil Jones crowned CEO of the Year!!!

Phil Jones, the founder and managing director of PJA, has been crowned European CEO of the Year in the Small Firm category by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE). The award recognises his success at growing PJA into one of the UK's leading independent transport planning specialists.

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Phil scooped the award last night at the 2014 European CEO Awards gala dinner at The Great Hall of the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. The awards credit innovative and creative leaders who have demonstrated strong integrity and contributed to the consultancy and engineering industry and wider society. 

Phil said: 'I am delighed and of course very proud to receive this award which I believe demonstrates the success of the practice rather than me as an individual. PJA has built its business on delivering fantastic results for our clients, enabling us to open offices during the worst global recession of my career. The importance of creative solutions to solve transport planning problems and improve the built environment is more important than ever. I love what I do and the role it plays in the creating better places and communities. I would like to congratulate each member of the PJA team in winning this award.'

New Opportunity - Consultant Transport Planner

We are currently recruiting for a Consultant Transport Planner to join our Birmingham team. Please see below for further information regarding this opportunity and for details of how to apply.

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OPPORTUNITY:  Consultant Transport Planner

LOCATION:         Birmingham Office

Phil Jones Associates is the UK's leading independent Transport Planning specialists, with a team of over 20 staff. From our offices in Birmingham, London and Reading we are involved in projects throughout the UK and overseas. Our team provides advice on all aspects of transport planning and traffic  engineering for private and public sector clients.

The firm's Principal, Phil Jones, was a member of the drafting team for Manual for Streets, published in 2007 by DfT and DCLG. Phil subsequently acted as a Managing Editor on Manual for Streets 2: Wider Application of the Principles, published in 2010. For more information on our practice, please visit www.philjonesassociates.co.uk

We are now looking for a new team member, starting imediately, to work on our expanding and varied portfolio of projects. In joining Phil Jones Associates you will work closely with the senior team, drawing on their experience to expand your  knowledge of the profession in practice.

For this position you will need to be able to demonstrate at least one years' directly relevant experience within the industry. This is an ideal opportunity if you are seeking a more dynamic role and an opportunity to broaden your experience by undertaking a varied workload within a medium-sized consultancy.

You should have experience or a good understanding in some or most of the following subjects:

  • Technical aspects of Transport Assessments including trip generation/distribution, plus basic traffic modelling tools such as Junctions8 and LinSig;
  • Microsimulation packages VISSIM and/or Paramics;
  • Transport aspects of masterplanning and urban design;
  • Traffic management techniques;
  • Street and road design standards and how these are applied;
  • Designing for cycling.

This is not an exhaustive list and if you can demonstrate related experience we would be happy to consider your CV. Our ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate a strong educational record and have an MSc in Transport Planning or a related subject. A full driving licence would be beneficial.

We can provide you with the opportunity to broaden your transport planning and traffic engineering knowledge and its application in a practical and creative environment.

We look forward to hearing from you.  To apply for this post, please email a full CV and covering letter to:

birmingham@philjonesassociates.co.uk

Representing national private firms at public inquiry pays off

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PJA has recently given evidence on behalf of Bloor Homes for a recent appeal in Pershore, Worcestershire.  Directors Nigel Millington and Phil Jones appeared at the informal hearing and successfully argued that the proposed street layout was safe, appropriate and in accordance with Manual for Streets, the Government’s guidance document on residential highways.  The inspector agreed that the local Worcestershire Design Guide was out of date, and as such the scheme was not unsafe just because it did not comply with the local WCC guidance.
 
Phil has also successfully represented Richborough Estates at Public Inquiry, preparing and giving evidence in relation to a site in Haslington, near Crewe. He demonstrated to the inspector that a suitable access could be provided with appropriate visibility splays. 
Paul Campbell, director at Richborough Estates, said: 'Traffic impact is always a big concern for local people, and in the Haslington inquiry, Phil had to rebut quite detailed and well-informed evidence submitted by residents.  Using his extensive knowledge and experience, we are delighted that Phil satisfied inspectors that the developments would not have any significant adverse effects and met national policies as expressed in the NPPF.'

PJA has supported Richborough Estates at a series of public inquiries into residential developments over the past year, all of which have been successful. Three of the inquiries were on sites in East Cheshire, while another inquiry is about to begin for a site in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Phil is one of the country’s leading experts in the design, planning and approval of new residential streets and helped draft Manual for Streets.

PJA helps to secure £8 million funding for infrastructure support

PJA has played a pivotal role for leading regeneration specialist St. Modwen in helping to secure £8 million in funding for an infrastructure package that will significantly affect the largest regeneration of the former MG Rover plant at Longbridge. 

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Working as part of the Longbridge Connectivity Group formed by local MP Richard Burden, along with St. Modwen, Centro and Birmingham City Council, a package of measures was developed aimed at improving connectivity and unlocking the potential for thousands of jobs. 

The infrastructure package puts the development on National Cycle Network Route 5, which will be re-routed to serve Bournville College and the new Longbridge town centre via the newly created Austin Park. It also trebles the number of spaces at the nearby park and ride; and provides real-time information, wayfinding, new bus stops and a significant upgrade to Longbridge Railway Station. 

Connectivity to the M5 and the M42 enterprise corridor will also be improved with significant investment in the local highway network that will also offer significant safety benefits for local residents. 

Part of the Government’s flagship ‘Growth Deal’ project, the Longbridge Connectivity Package is aimed at attracting further investment, generating new jobs and unlocking future growth. The funding will also boost the digital infrastructure in the area. 

 

PJA and PCL - Combined Cycling Expertise

PJA and Project Centre Ltd, the leading engineering and landscape architecture consultancy, have joined forces to provide a complete service to local authorities on cycling related projects.

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As independent experts in their fields PJA and PCL will offer a comprehensive planning, design and implementation service for cycling infrastructure. This means they can effectively take a new cycle network scheme from the overall planning and preliminary design stages right through to detailed design and implementation of public realm improvements.

PJA is rapidly becoming the go-to consultant for cycling design and has undertaken a best practice study for Transport for London (TfL) analysing 14 cities where mass cycling is either established or has a clear policy goal in order to encourage cycling, as well as working on a London to Leeds and Manchester cycleway for the Department for Transport.  

The role of the Highways Agency in the planning process could be about to change

Currently, local planning authorities in England must consult the Highways Agency (HA) over every development likely to lead to an increase in the volume of traffic on a trunk road, or have an impact on the character of traffic entering or leaving the road.

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However, at the end of last month [September], the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) closed its ‘Technical consultation on planning’, which proposed that local planning authorities should only be required to liaise with the HA when a development is likely to have an adverse impact on the safety of, or queuing on, a trunk road. 

The DCLG also suggested that, in future, the HA should no longer be consulted on ‘minor’ developments. The aim is to refocus the HA’s role in the planning process, thus reducing the number of applications it deals with. 

At PJA we’re extremely interested to discover the outcome of the consultation, as we believe the move away from a capacity-led approach, to a more pragmatic consideration of queuing and safety, may lead to the tests for new developments becoming less onerous. 

However, whether the new rules would make it easier for LPAs to determine when to consult the HA remains to be seen. 

Under the proposals, LPAs will no longer be required to judge whether a development will result in a material change to traffic flows on the trunk road network before consulting the HA. Instead, they will be required to consider the effects on safety and queuing, which is arguably more difficult for an LPA to assess unless the applicant has provided clear information setting out those effects.

Click here for more information on the HA consultation exercise.

A birthday to remember

Inspired by a milestone birthday, PJA Director Nigel Millington (pictured left) has devoted some serious energy this summer in raising money for Action Medical Research, a charity dedicated to medical research into conditions specifically affecting babies and children.

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In July, Nigel got on his bike and joined 240 others in a charity bike ride from London to Paris. The 296 mile ride took four days and was one of the Director’s lifelong highlights. He said: 

“I’ve been an amateur cyclist for a long time, but this year it felt like the right time to really go for it and raise some money for an incredible charity in the process. We rode into Paris on my 40th birthday so it was definitely something to remember! I’m already looking forward to the next challenge, Paris to Geneva?”

To boost the fundraising still further, Nigel and his family sent real cream teas direct to a number of PJA’s clients and contacts to encourage them to dig deep and donate to the cause. Over £1,500 was raised, adding to the collective total of £420,000. 

 

PJA support Longbridge Light Festival

PJA was proud to sponsor the Longbridge Light Festival on Saturday evening - which attracted more than 5,000 people.

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Highlights included a lantern parade, window dressing competition, artworks, films and alien face painting. Workshops showed people how to make sci-fi costumes and futuristic effects and animations.

The event was organised by public arts organisation WERK and Bournville College. It was preceded on Friday with the Tran-si-tion International Conference at Bournville College, which highlighted best practice within regeneration schemes, urban design, strategic planning, placemaking and art within a social urban context. It was headlined by world-famous artist Daan Roosegaarde, with other speakers including Jean Francois Zurawik, Director of Fête des Lumières in Lyon; Mike Murray of St. Modwen, Glenn Howells, Director at Glenn Howells Architect and Michael Artz, Director and Programme Curator at Halle 14, Helen Marriage, Director at Artichoke and Nigel Edmondson, former City Design Manager at Birmingham City Council. 

For more information on Longbridge Light festival visit www.longbridgelightfestival.co.uk