Phil Lloyd was born in Stockport and has lived in the north-west of England all his life, apart from a first degree in history at York from 1971. He gained an MA (Econ) and social work qualification at Manchester University in 1978 and worked as a probation officer until 1998. He led Youth Offending Teams in Manchester and Cheshire before managing in social care in Cheshire. He retired from his post as a director in Cheshire East in 2011 and completed a doctorate in Railway Studies at York in 2017. He now lives in Merseyside with his wife Ceri and spends a lot of time in north Wales.