PJA opens Manchester office, appoints Chris Sibthorpe as director

PJA has opened a new Manchester city centre office to meet client demand, appointing transport planning expert Chris Sibthorpe as director.

The new North West office responds to a surge in enquiries for advice on adapting streets to facilitate more cycling and walking, which has boomed during COVID-19. The Government has launched a £2 billion package to fund the changes to active travel infrastructure, which includes widening pavements, introducing new cycle lanes and safer junctions.

Sibthorpe joins from Mott McDonald, where he led the Manchester transport planning team and has experience of working on projects across the North West, as well as an understanding of the region’s transport challenges.

He most recently worked on a project to promote active travel at Heathrow Airport as well as projects with Transport for Greater Manchester’s strategy and policy teams. He was also the project director for Greater Manchester’s Streets for All Orbital project which redesigned streets to make them more people-friendly. Sibthorpe will lead both the new PJA office and the company’s active travel division.

Nigel Millington, joint managing director at PJA, said: “We have been at the forefront of active travel delivery in the UK for many years through advising public and private sector clients as well as Government bodies including British Cycling, the Active Travel Consortium and the Cycle Proofing Working Group. We also edited the key Manual for Streets 1 and 2 publications and the Welsh Government’s Active Travel Design Guidelines and developed Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans.

“We have been looking to expand in the North West as part of our growth strategy, and with the recent rush in client demand this is the right time. While COVID-19 has posed challenges to some areas of our market, we have a positive attitude moving forwards and are fully committed to delivering for our clients.

“Chris’ passion for active travel across a range of settings as well as his knowledge and contacts in the region makes him the ideal candidate to take the helm. We look forward to him growing our presence and expanding our team of consultants.”

Sibthorpe added: “Local authorities and developers are keen for a green restart to the economy and to not replace one health issue with another in the form of a return to damaging levels of air pollution and lost productivity associated with unchecked traffic growth. Increasing the proportion of people using active travel modes is going to be key to achieving this, building on the momentum for travel behaviour change arising from the pandemic. I am very much looking forward to advising clients on the temporary and permanent changes that can be made, as well as offering PJA’s wider expertise in transport planning, placemaking and engineering.

“PJA is well respected and leads the conversation in our industry on active travel so joining the organisation was a no-brainer for me. It shares my passion for developing well thought out schemes and takes a design-led approach, ensuring that its solutions enhance local character and provide a sense of place. The company delivers good quality products for its clients and I’m thrilled to be joining the team and growing PJA’s service offering in the north.”

The address of the PJA Manchester office is: 3 Piccadilly Place, Manchester, M1 3BN
Sibthorpe can be contacted at chris.sibthorpe@pja.co.uk/07783 809574.
PJA also has offices in Birmingham, London, Reading, Bristol, Exeter and Melbourne.

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