Assessing the transport needs of a site on behalf of a developer is generally one of many things offered by engineering consultancies. So when Lloyd Bush and his former boss Jonathan Howard decided to set up Velocity in May 2017, they were clear from the outset that their own consultancy would focus solely on transport planning in May 2017.
Lloyd Bush, director of Velocity, is loving the relaxed start-up vibe of The Print Rooms
Chris Gent, David Holdaway and Tom Mabelson, joined as Directors earlier this year — all former colleagues from different companies — along with two full-time employees. The company moved into Workspace’s The Print Rooms in Southwark at the beginning of June.
Velocity assesses the impact of proposed developments on the transport network, considering how to manage the extra vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists they will bring to the area. “Our main offer is pre-planning transport advice for private sector clients in London and the South East,” says Lloyd. “We provide advice to developers from feasibility through to detailed design and delivery”
One of the key documents Velocity produce, known as a Transport Assessment, is required by developers in order to obtain planning approval. Velocity also offers ancillary analysis on anything from a site’s delivery and servicing needs to car parking or construction traffic management.
While Velocity’s private sector clients include Safestore, Kier Construction and Park Plaza Hotels, the company also undertake work in the public sector including education developments such as a new free school in Hertfordshire to be known as Croxley Danes School providing education to over 1,200 pupils aged 11-18.
Sustainability is a key consideration in Velocity’s work. “We’re encouraging walking, cycling and public transport and providing infrastructure for electric vehicles to ensure we’re complying with the latest policy,” says Lloyd. “You have to provide a lot more cycle parking that you might think. It’s about future proofing the push to more sustainable travel”.
Going it alone has allowed Lloyd and his colleagues to work in a more relaxed and flexible way. “In previous experience of working within multi-disciplinary engineering consultancies, there was quite a lot of red tape to work within that wasn’t really relevant to a solely focused transport planning business,” says Lloyd.
In order to move away from rigid working processes the company embraced technology, setting up a cloud-based system that enabled them to work from wherever they like (Lloyd was working from home when we spoke). “None of us wants to work ourselves to death, and we all want a good work-life balance with greater flexibly,” he says.
The relaxed atmosphere at The Print Rooms was a big draw for Velocity when the company moved there in June. “It’s a lot nicer than previous offices we’ve been in. We all like the location and start-up vibe,” says Lloyd. “No-one takes themselves too seriously.”
Another major bonus is the Hank and Ginger Café at The Print Rooms which Velocity use as a breakout space for meeting clients. “It adds value to the offer,” says Lloyd.
As Velocity have their sights set firmly on growth, the flexible contracts offered by Workspace also made perfect sense. “You can upsize without much notice if there’s availability,” says Lloyd. “We’re not tied into anything that ends up being too small for us.”
Bringing in five directors early on was a statement of intent. “We’re all work-winning and client-facing, so that sets the foundation for further growth of the team to help us deliver the work,” says Lloyd. Velocity hope to have 12 employees by the first quarter of next year, when they envisage taking a larger office within Workspace, ideally in The Print Rooms or nearby Metal Box Factory.
Metal Box Factory - Southwark
The Print Rooms – London Bridge
It’s hard to resist the impression that these transport planners are going places. “Our goal is to have a business of between 20 and 50 people within three years,” says Lloyd. But not at the expense of Velocity’s hard-won company culture. “If you go larger than that it’s our view that you start to lose the family feel.”
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