A travel plan is a written management strategy designed to help workplaces, schools and other organisations implement measures to reduce the need for people and goods to travel to and from a site, and to encourage the remainder to travel more sustainably.
Even if not required as part of a planning application, developing and implementing a good travel plan can bring a wide range of benefits to your organisation.
- Control costs associated with travel. Travel plans can help reduce business costs, such as mileage expenses or car park management costs.
- Boost productivity. Having a plan to promote more sustainable ways of travelling encourages staff and pupils to be more active on their journey to work, school or college, meaning increased productivity during the day and fewer days lost through sickness.
- Recruitment and retention. Putting in measures that make it easier for staff to get to work will make your organisation more attractive to prospective employees, and existing employees will gain benefit from a wider range of travel options.
- Reduce parking pressures. Having a plan in place can help your business, school or college overcome parking problems around your site by encouraging staff, visitors, pupils or parents to think about alternatives to driving – whether this is for one or two days a week, or all the time.
- Build your organisation’s reputation. Taking a pro-active approach to travel challenges will make a positive contribution to your organisation’s corporate social responsibility or environmental policy, maintaining good relations with the local community.
And travel plans are good news for staff, students, parents and visitors too:
- More choice about travel. Making it easier to walk, cycle or car share to your site will mean people can choose how they’d like to travel, rather than feeling they have only one or two viable options.
- Health and fitness. Encouraging people to walk or cycle more often will mean they get to enjoy some regular fresh air and exercise. Read more about the benefits of walking and cycling.
- Cut travel costs. Helping people to cut out the car on just a few days a week can mean big individual savings on fuel and maintenance – money that quickly adds up, and can be better spent on more interesting things!
The City and County councils provide comprehensive advice on devising effective travel plans:
Leicester City Council
Leicester City Council encourages all businesses, organisations and residential developments to make informed travel choices on how they get about to help reduce travel-to-work and parking congestion, business journey costs and carbon footprints through developing associated effective travel plans.
More and more organisations are experiencing the benefits which an effective travel plan can bring to their organisation.
Travel plan aims and objectives
- Helps reduce the impact of transport on the local environment and increase the awareness of sustainable travel access through promoting and marketing initiatives for car share, public transport, walking, cycling, working from home, flexible working hours, teleconferencing, etc.
- Includes measures to encourage and monitor an increase of travel choice to the site and reduce the dependency on the car (particularly for journeys under 5km by single occupancy users) through promoting measures that discourage unnecessary car use.
- Discourages irresponsible on and off site parking for all users of a site through adopting a strategy to manage parking, limit inconvenience to local residents and reduce the risk of accidents.
Leicester City Council provides FREE help and guidance on the various elements of travel plans, which are specific and practical to each organisation.
The various elements covered by a travel plan (i.e. parking management plan, travel packs, travel plan statements etc.), including the thresholds to establish the type of travel plan required for the planning process, are listed in our Travel Plan Guidance Document, which helps guide developers through the travel planning process.
Leicester City Council expect travel plans to be the starting point for any transport assessment or statement, which should only deal with residual traffic impact.
For more details on the Travel Plan Guidance Document and all aspects of the thresholds, content, benefits and general advice for producing effective travel plans and other aspects of travel planning, please contact Leicester City Council’s Travel Plan Officer.
The following are useful resources to assist organisations in creating an effective travel plan:
Leicestershire County Council
Property developers or their agents may be required to provide a travel plan as a condition to gaining planning consent. A typical travel plan for a new residential or business development will provide for the promotion of sustainable travel through developer-funded marketing initiatives, contributions to public transport and to walking and cycling infrastructure.
A successful travel plan involves continuous monitoring (for example, surveys), review and improvement over time. So it does require a high level of debate about transport problems, options and future action, as well as a high-level management commitment. But where a plan is likely to deliver significant reductions in the use of private cars, this could reduce the scale of highway works required to off-set the development’s traffic impacts and could, in certain circumstances, result in the need for less off-street parking.
We have created a detailed guidance document to give businesses, planning officers, property developers and their agents, step-by-step advice about developing good quality travel plans:
Modeshift STARS Schools Guidance
What is STARS?
The STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation & Recognition for Schools) scheme is a new way of planning, monitoring and reporting any healthy travel activities such as cycling, walking and scooting that you promote to your pupils.
The scheme is completely free, backed nationally by the Government, and proudly supported by Leicestershire County Council.
What’s in it for you?
- A safer, congestion free environment outside the school gates.
- Healthier, happier students.
- A hassle free way to write a travel plan.
- Performing schools could be named regional or national school of the year at the Modeshift National Sustainable Travel Awards.
How to get involved
- Visit Modeshift STARS and register your school.
- Start by completing a staff and pupil survey.
- Set up a scheme or initiative to get your students moving. You can either come up with something completely new, or take a look at our Modeshift STARS toolkit.
- Start working your way through the workbook and logging the activities as actions ready for approval.
It’s as simple as that! You might already have an idea in mind, so all you need to do is implement it and start logging on the website. If not, don’t worry… we can help. In our toolkit, we’ve suggested some simple but effective schemes and initiatives that you could use – all of which are tried and tested.
In a recent survey, 77% of parents who drive their children to school in the morning and afternoon school run said they found it more stressful than work or grocery shopping (statistic provided by Micro Scooters).
Modeshift STARS toolkit
View our toolkit for ideas on how you can get started.