How to develop your organisation's Travel Plan on a voluntary basis or as part of the planning process.

Why write a Travel Plan

Organisations develop travel plans to manage employee travel, and any other travel to and from its sites, especially to reduce their carbon footprint and maximise access/travel options.

A travel plan is a tailored package of measures for commuter journeys, business trips and freight deliveries.

Travel needs of the organisation, site and local area can be addressed through the plan, but at the core are measures to reduce the need to travel, reduce reliance on the car and promote sustainable travel (bus, cycle, walk, car share).

With increasing levels of traffic, congestion and vehicle emissions (linked to air quality and climate change) travel plans are becoming ever more important.

Organisations can also find them useful for reducing travel costs, improving employee health, managing demand for parking spaces and making it easier for journeys to be made to and from their sites.

Travel Plans for planning applications

Find out about general principles for what is required for a travel plan when it has been conditioned as part of a planning application.

Travel plans are documents setting out how an organisation will manage travel to and from its site. The National Planning Policy Framework states the following about plans for development.

"Plans should protect and exploit opportunities for the use of sustainable transport modes for the movement of goods or people. Therefore, developments should be located and designed where practical to:

  • accommodate the efficient delivery of goods and supplies
  • give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements, and have access to high quality public transport facilities
  • create safe and secure layouts which minimise conflicts between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians, avoiding street clutter and where appropriate establishing home zones
  • incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low emission vehicles
  • consider the needs of people with disabilities by all modes of transport

A key tool to facilitate this will be a Travel Plan. All developments which generate significant amounts of movement should be required to provide a Travel Plan."

What to include in your Travel Plan

  • basics: name of the developer, development address and planning application number
  • contact details: name and address of someone we can contact about the Travel Plan beyond the planning application process
  • policy: a paragraph about national and local policy background
  • numbers: eg how people are predicted to travel to the site, number of car/cycle spaces, number of occupants
  • objectives and targets: what the Travel Plan will set out to achieve and when, including reducing car usage - see the recommended targets below for commuter journeys made by drivers. We also want at least one site relevant element, eg car parking usage target
  • monitoring: how the Travel Plan results will be measured/reviewed - see the attached standards.
  • Action Plan: include an initiative to incentivise changes in travel behaviour and keep the language positive (the initiatives will be done, not maybe done)

Targets for the proportion of commuting done by driving

  • City Centre: 35-40%
  • Edge of city centre: 45-55%
  • District centre: 60-65%
  • Outlying area: 75%

The Travel Plan should be broad in considering all travel to and from the site, including travel to work, travel for work (business), fleet operations if applicable, and visitor travel. It doesn't need a conclusion section and should state that the plan is not limited to its current contents, that it will adapt and adopt new measures/techniques as they evolve.