Travel Plans – Green Travel Plans

What is a Travel Plan?

The Travel Plan typically focuses on day-to-day journeys made by residents, staff and visitors to a particular site and is a tool that aims to provide a package of measures to reduce the number of journeys carried out by car and to encourage a greater use of active modes such as cycling and walking. This enables an organisation to manage and deliver its sustainable transport objectives through positive action.

The travel plan strategy sets out a site audit of available transport facilities, the objectives, targets and indicators for the travel plan, along with the actions and measures that need to be taken. A range of census data, TRICS/TRAVL data and surveys of existing travel habits can be used to estimate likely initial travel patterns, which are then confirmed by a baseline survey soon after the development has been occupied.

Travel Plans are site and development specific and should be viewed as a 'living document', capable of being updated to suit changing travel patterns indicated by monitoring results and of being maintained long after the occupation of the development.

Requirement for a Travel Plan

A Travel Plan can be used as a tool to solve parking and accessibility problems, or may be a requirement for securing planning permission.

Where Travel Plans are developed in relation to planning applications, the guidance of the local planning authority is most relevant. Some authorities still refer to Green Travel Plans, but generally the documents are now known as Travel Plans.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is supportive of travel planning and states that all planning applications for developments that generate significant amounts of movement should be supported by a Travel Plan. Guidance on Travel Plans is also provided by the Department for Transport, and for schemes within London, specific policy guidance is set out by Transport for London. Many types of development can require Travel Plans, including:

  • Workplaces
  • Hotels
  • Visitor and leisure attractions
  • Education establishments
  • Places of worship

Increasingly larger residential developments can also require a Travel Plan.

BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) is a commonly used environmental assessment method for buildings. It seeks to establish standards for best practice in sustainable design and measurement of a building’s environmental performance.

The development of a travel plan to address access and travel can enhance a building’s BREEAM assessment score and contribute towards a higher rating level.

We specialise in providing Travel Plans as part of the development planning process, to support planning applications, address planning conditions or aid BREEAM assessment.

For many uses an Interim Travel Plan is submitted with the planning application which is then updated prior to the occupation of the development once the end occupier is known.

Travel Plan Benefits

Travel Plans can provide numerous benefits and these include:

  • Enabling site expansion by attaining planning consents and meeting planning conditions and obligations
  • Reducing the costs of travel for employees and visitors
  • Providing staff benefits and supporting recruitment and retention
  • Reducing congestion, and environmental impact in terms of noise and vehicle emissions
  • Improved health through promoting activities such as walking and cycling
  • A robust and comprehensive Travel Plan can assist in justifying a reduction in the provision of on-site parking, which has the benefit of reducing costs and allowing developers to make more efficient use of the land

Travel Plan Coordinator

The developer or end user will be required to appoint a Travel Plan Coordinator to assist in the operation and promotion of the Travel Plan.

This role may be carried out by an employee of the business, a management company or a volunteer, though the site developers (or applicant) will still maintain the overall responsibility for the Travel Plan.

Where the Travel Plan Coordinator requires specialist assistance in undertaking the monitoring of the plan, including annual survey reviews, reporting and possibly agreeing alternative measures or targets with the local authority, TTP Consulting are able to assist.

Monitoring

Most Travel Plans are required to monitor progress towards the stated targets, typically for a period of 5 or 10 years and to provide monitoring reports to the local authority.

Often monitoring is carried out via a questionnaire focusing on the main mode of transport used, though for larger developments in depth independent surveys can also be required.

Many planning authorities will apply financial penalties if an agreed monitoring schedule is not adhered to, or if travel targets are not met.

We are experienced in assisting clients with Travel Plans both through the planning process and on an ongoing basis after occupation, arranging monitoring surveys and providing annual update reports to local authorities where needed.

Need a Travel Plan?

We combine expertise in transport planning with sound commercial understanding and have assisted numerous schemes through the planning process by undertaking Transport Assessments, Transport Statements and Travel Plans nationwide for all types of development proposals. We would be happy to provide you with a competitive fee proposal for a Travel Plan, please email Andrew Murdoch at amurdoch@ttp-consulting.co.uk or Stuart Davies at sbdavies@ttp-consulting.co.uk, or call 020 7100 0753.