News

Bloor Homes secure consent for strategic allocation in Hereford

PJA is delighted to announce that planning consent has now been granted for the Holmer West strategic allocation in Hereford, after reaching agreement on all transport and highway matters with Highways England and Herefordshire Council.

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PJA was appointed by Bloor Homes to provide all transport and highways advice relating to their promotion of this strategic allocation in north Hereford.  Central to the strategy proposed by PJA was a principal street through the site connecting the A49 with Roman Road, providing traffic relief to the heavily congested Starting Gate roundabout.

Detailed proposals for improved cycle access to the site were also put forward, together with proposals for improvements to the A49 immediately north of the River Wye.

PJA reappointed to Hertfordshire Framework

We are delighted that PJA has been reappointed by Hertfordshire County Council to provide transport advice relating to the proposed expansion of Secondary Schools in the County.

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PJA will provide advice to HCC over the next six months on the likely transport implications of their proposed programme of expansion at various Secondary School sites across the County.

Our work will include detailed site observations, interviews with school management, identification of exiting issues associated with traffic around each school site, and proposals for mitigation required in order to accommodate additional forms of entry at each site.

Another appeal win for PJA

PJA recently achieved success at planning appeal for a retrospective application for a small residential scheme in Northampton, following expiration of a previous planning consent.

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Much like the surrounding pattern of rows of terraced streets, the proposed development of six flats and two houses did not provide any off-street parking.  The planning application was refused at the recommendation of the highway authority on the basis that the existing on-street parking is over-subscribed and as such the development would have a detrimental impact on highway safety and residential amenity.

At appeal, PJA presented evidence in the form of car ownership Census data, which when compared with parking surveys demonstrated that although the surrounding streets are close to full occupancy there exists a small surplus of spaces to accommodate additional residents. Whilst the proposals would lead to increased demand for parking spaces where there is limited spare capacity, crucially the Inspector noted that “the effect is likely to be only marginal and certainly not  severe, the test set by current national planning policy for preventing development on transport grounds.”

Further to this, the Inspector found that a s106 contribution required as part of the previous planning consent would no longer be required, providing the developer with a cost saving compared to the previous scheme.

London’s first cycling Quietway is now open

The first of London's cycling “Quietways” has been officially launched by Transport for London. PJA is part of a team of consultants assembled by Sustrans to assist them in their role as delivery agent for the Quietways programme on behalf of TfL. 

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The first route, linking bustling Waterloo to historic Greenwich over a distance of 9km, guides cyclists along quiet streets and traffic-free paths and also connects to TfL's flagship Cycle Superhighway network at Blackfriars Road.  PJA provided staff on secondment to Sustrans to handle the design development, traffic order planning, and highway authority liaison within the borough of Lewisham.

The Quietway concept is designed to provide a network of quiet and traffic-free cycling routes away from busy roads which enable people to cycle short journeys instead of driving, and provide an alternative to crowded buses and trains for longer commuting trips.

Quietways complement TfL's other cycling infrastructure investment programme of high-quality segregated Cycle Superhighways on busy radial corridors, and local area improvements in the shape of “Mini-Hollands”.  With an increasing demand for travel in London as a result of a growing economy and population, investment in cycling infrastructure is both cheaper and quicker to implement, which is especially relevant in the current climate of constrained public spending.  The high quality of infrastructure delivered by TfL is already yielding a strong growth in patronage, taking the strain of the public transport network and improving the health of those people who have chosen to switch to cycling.

Read more from TfL and Sustrans.

 

Life after Brexit?

After the historic vote to leave the European Union on 23 June, politicians, businesses, employees and employers have been asking: 'what does this mean for me?'

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At Phil Jones Associates we were no different. However, unlike the markets, calmer heads prevailed and we are happy to report that it will be business as usual for our team. 

Although housebuilders were one of the more high profile casualties in the immediate aftermath of the vote, the Government and the Bank of England have taken action to safeguard credit and restore confidence in Sterling. The planning system remains broadly unaffected for now so the way we undertake our work, on behalf of our clients, won't be changing.

We have even seen more new projects come through our doors since the vote proving that confidence in the market still remains strong. So, as a result, we will be keeping a watchful eye on proceedings in Westminster and Brussels but will continue to push forward with our ambitious growth plans in the months ahead.

Regional offices witness rapid expansion

PJA is enjoying growth across the regions

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Reading: Having only opened an office in Reading in the summer of 2014 with a team of four, PJA has now moved to larger premises at The Aquarium on King Street, to accommodate up to eight members of staff. Lucy Smith, a new Graduate Consultant, will join the team in September.

Bristol: New starters Matt McFeat (Associate) and Ivy Plato (Technician) have joined Jon Tricker at our office in the Boxworks, adjacent to Temple Meads Station. Graduate, Amber Kenyon, will also be joining in September.

Exeter: We have opened a new office in Exeter, led by Associate Director Hannah Shrimpton. The new office will serve the South West market and the team will work closely with the established office in Bristol.

London: Allan Trulock has been appointed to the London office, as PJA expands its presence in the Capital.

With 13 years' experience in development planning, working on projects as varied as Hinkley Point C and the Bank Station Capacity Upgrade project, Allan is exceptionally well placed to support the growth of the office.   

Cycle City, Active City Conference

Our managing director Phil Jones gave two presentations to a captive audience at this year's 'Cycle City, Active City' conference in Leicester.

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Over 800 delegates came to the 2-day event to hear from some of the foremost minds in transport and cycle planning, with the aim of working towards more walkable, bicycle-friendly and healthy communities in Great Britain and Ireland.

Phil introduced Highways England's new national standard on cycling infrastructure, part of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges produced by PJA in association with Professor John Parkin and Atkins. This will be mandatory for all Trunk Road schemes and will also set out good practice for local highway authorities.

In a separate session, Phil discussed the impending Department for Transport guidance on preparing 'Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans', written by PJA and WSP Parsons Brinkerhoff. Importantly, this guidance will be recommended to local authorities and LEPs by Government.

Phil said: “The event was very well attended and it was excellent to see how local authorities like Leicester, where we are working on improvements to the Golden Mile along Belgrave Road, are now taking positive steps to enable people to walk and cycle more. There was a lot of interest in our talks on the new standard on cycling infrastructure and the draft process for developing Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.”

Other speakers at the Conference included Sir Robert Goodwill, Minister of State for Transport, and Ian Drake, the CEO of British Cycling.

However, as PJA rapidly becomes the go-to consultant for cycling design, Phil's important contributions to the Conference undoubtedly left attendees more informed of current and future transport policy.

Place team welcomes Alex Follis

Our growing Place team has welcomed Alex Follis as an Urban Designer. 

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Alex has previously worked for the Welsh Government, Turley and Pegasus Group, and brings with him a wide variety of skills and expertise across several industry sectors.

His experience in developing both indicative and detailed layouts for residential and mixed-use schemes and preparing design and access statements, masterplan frameworks and development strategies will be invaluable. 

In his spare time, Alex enjoys watching motorsport and is an avid spectator at the world famous Le Mans 24-hour race, Silverstone and Formula 1 races – despite only driving a Ford Fiesta.

We are looking forward to seeing Alex flourish in our Birmingham office, helping to build on the success of the department and continuing to provide clients with our efficient, one stop service which is so valued.

Birmingham Head Office continues to expand

We have taken an additional 1,500 sq ft of office space at Seven House, our Grade A Birmingham headquarters at Longbridge, in order to house our growing team!

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Currently, 24 members of staff work in Birmingham, as well as a further four in our specialist traffic modelling subsidiary, Multimodal. The extra office space will accommodate five new staff members – including three graduates – who are due to start in the coming months, and help us to deliver our ambitious future growth plans.

To complement this exciting expansion, we have completed an office rebrand, which brings a contemporary and vibrant new feel to our base. This includes additional meeting and break-out space to support our growing team.

We are looking forward to welcoming our new team members to our new home!

Leicester City Council consults on PJA's ambitious Golden Mile Scheme

A second round of consulations are under way to transfrom part of Leicester's Golden Mile.

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The project team, led by PJA, has worked with local stakeholders to develop two street improvement design options on Belgrave Road, which are now being put before the general public for consultation.  This follows a consultation process around the turn of the year where three general design concepts were presented to the public in order to elicit their views and concerns.  A video file of one of the options can be viewed here.  

Both options aim to improve the pedestrian environment along Belgrave Road and achieve a better balance between movement and place.  The more ambitious option sees the road width reduced from two lanes in each direction to a single traffic lane in each direction, with an intermittent median strip facilitating informal pedestrian crossing activity.  The number of traffic signals will be reduced in both options, with improvements to the directness and simplicity of pedestrian crossings.

Appointed by Leicester City Council, PJA has led this commission and has been working alongside Opun, Access Design Solutions, and David Singleton Associates.  PJA's role has been overall project management, street design and traffic modelling, including VISSIM modelling and computer generated animated visualisations of traffic impacts.

Belgrave Road is home to the biggest concentration of Asian jewellers outside India, and is a shopping and leisure destination that attracts people from throughout the UK and further afield.  The project is the latest in a programme of interventions in order to improve the public realm in the Golden Mile area and reduce its dominance by vehicles, and follows on from the demolition of the Belgrave Flyover.

Live consultation page:

https://consultations.leicester.gov.uk/communications/belgrave-road

Project information micro-site:

http://www.opun.org.uk/golden-mile/