Rachel Lister

BSc City and Regional Planning (2005); MSc Transport and Planning (2007)
Current Job: 
Project Manager, Sustrans

Why did you choose Cardiff University as a place to study?

It was the City and Regional Planning School’s excellent reputation that attracted me to study at Cardiff University. I thoroughly enjoyed studying my BSc which made me decide to stay at Cardiff University to study my MSc.

What was the best thing about your time as a student at Cardiff?

Both the knowledge I gained from the course and the friends I made during this time.

What thing or person inspired you most whilst you were a Cardiff University student?

I was inspired by people who already worked within the planning and transport field. The University invited speakers to some of our lectures which gave me a great insight into their roles and the University helped me organise a placement with a planning consultancy which really inspired me and motivated me to work within the field.

What one thing would you tell someone else about the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff?

The School deserves its excellent reputation; it allows students to successfully develop their knowledge, experience and skills in transport planning.

How did your degree most help you in the career or job you have now chosen?

My degree was accredited and I am now a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute which is helping to progress my career in both planning and transport planning.

Tell us a bit about your current job, how you got into what you are doing and what you enjoy about it most.

My main role is to manage the delivery of shared use walking and cycling routes within the National Cycle Network. I am currently working on 16 projects within South Wales and work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government, local authorities, project funders and the community to implement these projects. I developed an interest in sustainable transport whilst studying at the University and particularly enjoyed preparing Travel Plans in my previous job. I was really keen to have the opportunity to actually see a project being developed, constructed and used by the community, so applied for my current job! I enjoy being able to work on a project from the initial feasibility stage, steering it through the planning process to gain planning permission and taking it through to construction. I also enjoy the variety of work, one day I can be helping prepare detailed designs for a project or discussing a project with the Steering Group, and the next I can be at a public exhibition or taking part in an event to promote walking and cycling.

What opportunities do you feel have opened up to you as a result of being a student at the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography?

The University helped me organise a placement with a planning consultancy and I continued to work with the consultancy for four years following graduation.

Tell us any interesting facts about yourself, hobbies or interests that you have.

I enjoy going climbing, skiing, walking and cycling in my spare time and I also play touch rugby. During University I played for the School’s netball team!