NextGen Diaries: Mailys Garden

14 May 2020

I am in my Central London flat, feeling lucky to have the space and quiet atmosphere to do effective work. That said, the first weeks have required me to adjust, like many others, but now the ‘new normal’ has kicked in and I’m enjoying spending less time travelling and more time re-connecting (virtually) with friends & family. The only thing I really miss is outdoor space… definitely on my must have list for my next flat!

Momentum Transport Consultancy has adapted and adjusted brilliantly! We had just moved in to a new office so we all felt rather disappointed to give it up, but we had chairs, desks and monitors sent to our homes by cycle couriers – which shows you can fight the virus and be sustainable at the same time! We also implemented various online ‘socials’ such as random cuppas, end of the week drinks and a virtual quiz is in progress! Work wise, the transition has happened fast as most of us were already equipped to work from home. Our main message to clients and partners has simply been that everything changes… but nothing changes! We see the same levels of activity coming through which is great.

The main difference in my routine is that I have less ‘down time’ travelling between meetings so days get packed with back to back calls, design workshops and internal catch ups. The upside is that I can’t believe seven weeks have passed already! My main focus is to continue leading multidisciplinary teams internally to deliver the same quality of work. I also try to limit the number of emails I send and try to connect by phone across the industry.

As people mostly travel by foot or cycle and maintain social distancing rules we see how our footways and cycle lanes are quickly overloaded and people ‘claim’ the road space more. I hope COVID-19 shows we can all do with less space for cars and more space for people. This is where the City is headed in its Transport Strategy, and I think the current crisis may help the transition. More generally, the enormous effort to get thousands of people working remotely may also impact travel behaviours in the long term, with people working more flexibly. This may attenuate the effects of ‘peak commuting hours’ which in turn will impact how we plan, design and operate transport infrastructure in dense urban areas.

Mailys Garden

Principal Consultant at Momentum Transport Consultancy