Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) has announced that it is to be joined by Colin Buchanan, a leading UK transport planning, urban design and economics consultancy.
Founded by Professor Sir Colin Buchanan in 1964, Colin Buchanan has approximately 175 staff based in offices across the United Kingdom and an established presence in China. The firm has provided advisory services to many notable transport infrastructure developments most recently providing economics advice that enabled London’s Cross Rail Project.
“The combination of Colin Buchanan and SKM’s transport planning practices will double our strategic capability in this space and create an impressive group of transport planning professionals offering great services and insights to public and private sector clients across a range of geographies,” SKM general manager for buildings and infrastructure Dr Michael Shirley said.
For SKM’s clients in Australian and New Zealand, the firm believes the addition of internationally regarded specialist transport planning skills alongside its existing teams held by Colin Buchanan will enable it to add value and achieve stronger solutions.
“The UK market has been an historic leader in transport planning, particularly in public transport planning and delivery, and has seen widespread adoption of new delivery models such as PPPs, and has confronted and addressed the issues now faced by Australia and New Zealand,” Dr Shirley said.
In the rail sector, Colin Buchanan has experience in development of economic appraisals for schemes such as London’s Crossrail and the DART Underground in Dublin. They undertake demand and revenue forecasting for rail infrastructure schemes and service changes work for the Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail, along with the private sector in support of franchise renewals, and local councils.
Their  socio-economic assessments of rail schemes has seen the  recent engagements on Crossrail and on the economic impact of the proposed UK High Speed Rail network. The firm is also notable for its pedestrian modelling skills which it has applied to transport interchanges as well supporting the Beijing Olympics and the recent Shanghai World Expo. Its urban development arm assists clients in precinct renewals in conjunction with public transport connections.
“SKM and Colin Buchanan already have experience through collaboration on a number of opportunities and we now look forward to providing that stronger, joint capability to all our clients,” Colin Buchanan chairman Andreas Markides said.
SKM chief executive Paul Dougas said SKM’s strategy continues to be driven by the evolving needs of its clients and their operations.
“Right now, our transport infrastructure clients are facing particular challenges and require trusted partners to bring deep insights and innovative solutions that meet their commercial needs across the entire life cycle of a project,” Douglas said.
In the UK market, the combined practice will be known as SKM Colin Buchanan.