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Ethan O’Loughlin

How did I become a Transport Planner?

My name is Ethan O’Loughlin. I started with LTP as a graduate from the University of Hull, following a BSc in Geography and an MSc in Renewable Energy, in September 2018. I had initially completed a short placement with LTP as part of my MSc, where I worked on a project regarding changing transport policies around urban mobility. I joined the Beverley Office as a Graduate Transport Planner through the University of Hull internship programme and I’ve now been with the company for just over a year.

Following the completion of the internship programme, I was promoted to Transport Planner and that has been my role ever since! 

My role within the company

My job falls within the ‘Transport Planning & Development’ team and involves assisting with and completing various reports, such as Transport Assessments, Transport Statements, Site feasibility work, Travel Plans and various other bits of research. The projects can be anything from relatively small-scale access appraisals, to large-scale residential and commercial projects as well as bespoke research elements that aren’t specifically tied down to technical report writing. 

More recently, I’ve started to learn more about junction modelling, trip distribution and how this can be fundamental for our clients in terms of the traffic impact of developments. I find this sort of work really interesting, and although it has taken a bit of time to get my head around, it’s really rewarding too. 

Throughout the project lifetime, we generally always provide highways advice to our clients. This helps the client to understand the transport issues with the development, what sort of mitigation is necessary and how we can help to overcome it. 

What skills have I learned? 

Throughout my time as a Transport Planner, I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced colleagues around me that have provided me with a lot of support. Through them, I’ve learnt lots of technical knowledge about the transporting world, whether that be through the many technical reports we do each week, or from using new software such as TRICS and AutoCAD. As we tend to use Microsoft Excel a lot for various bits of work, I’ve found that this particular package is one of the most useful, especially for a Transport Planner. 

What challenges have you faced?

When I first started at LTP, my first challenges were really getting to grips with the role and all the information I had to take in. It’s not easy to adapt straight away to a new role, especially so fresh out of University so it definitely took a little getting used to. Luckily, everyone at the company is really accommodating and provided me with a strong base from which to work from. 

Generally, I think challenges in the role can vary depending on the project. We often have to work to tight deadlines, and this can put pressure on you as an individual, but also on the team as well. 

I think as a Transport Planner, the variety of the work you get really keeps it interesting. We get a range of projects from around the UK, which means we carry out site assessments in places I’ve never visited before. I find the site assessments quite interesting; it gives you a feel for the site that you normally wouldn’t get from google earth or google maps and more often than not when you’re there in person, it’s different from what Google is showing you!

What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time I love going to the gym, that’s probably my main hobby! Aside from that, I also play the piano and I’ve just started to learn guitar as well (I’ve been putting it off for ages!). I always try to visit at least one new country a year (this year it’s Sweden for my birthday!) because I love travelling and getting to know all the different cultures (and cheapest beer…).

I love going to music events and usually go to at least one festival a year with my friends from University. 

If we can help, do get in touch!

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