Travel plan

Travel plan

A travel plan (historically referred to as a green travel plan) is a package of actions designed by a workplace, school or other organisation to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options. By reducing car travel, Travel Plans can improve health and wellbeing, free up carparking space, and make a positive contribution to the community and the environment. Every Travel Plan is different, but most successful plans have followed a structured process in their development:



Successful Travel Plans have management support and dedicated staff resource within the organisation . It follows that the decision to develop and implement a Travel Plan should be a formal commitment at the highest level of the organisation, often with the assistance of another organisation such as the local council.

Developing the scope, approach and budget for the Travel Plan, securing the resources required, and gaining management commitment - not just to prepare a Travel Plan, but to implement its recommendations - are the defining tasks of the setup phase.


A successful Travel Plan addresses the specific travel issues of the organisation, and hence involves researching the transport issues people face, and their ideas to improve local travel choices.

Research tools include surveys of staff and, in the case of schools, of students and their parents.

In addition to a survey, it is good practice to conduct at least one focus group to discuss issues in more depth and to generate ideas for change. A structured assessment of the site and a review of existing organisation policy is also valuable .

A report summarising travel issues and options, produced at the conclusion of the Research phase, provides a resource for future stages of the Travel Plan.

Action Planning

In this phase, a written Travel Plan is developed and approved, comprising a clear and agreed set of priority actions, with timelines, costs and accountabilities. Typical actions in a Workplace and School Travel Plan are set out below.

Action Planning is best undertaken by a working group convened by the Travel Planner and including representatives of all the major stakeholders. For example, a School Travel Plan working group is likely to include representatives of parents, children and staff, the local council, and the bus company or transit agency.

Implementation and Monitoring

Most organisations choose to formally launch the Travel Plan. It works well if the launch coincides with the implementation of at least one major Travel Plan action, although some actions can be implemented before the plan is complete and others may take some time.

Successful Travel Plans include regular reviews of travel behaviour (through surveys), monitoring of progress in implementing the travel plan, and an ongoing process for considering new ideas and improvements.

Workplace Travel Plans

The UK Department for Transport defines workplace travel plans as a package of measures produced by employers to encourage staff to use alternatives to single-occupancy car use. The first Travel Plans in the UK were adopted in Nottingham by Nottinghamshire County Council in 1995. Travel plans are now common in the UK, and are becoming common in Australia and New Zealand.

A workplace can choose to develop a travel plan at any time, or could be required to develop a travel plan as a condition of planning consent for an expansion or new development. Typical actions in a workplace travel plan include improving facilities for pedestrians and cyclists (showers, lockers and cycle parking), promotion and subsidy of public transport, and encouraging carpooling, working from home and teleconferencing.

School Travel Plans

Making it safer and easier for children to walk, cycle or catch public transport to school has long-term health benefits, reduces air pollution and traffic congestion, and helps children arrive at school awake, refreshed and ready to learn.

Because of the many benefits, local councils in the UK, Australia and New Zealand are actively involved in helping schools to develop and implement travel plans. Typical actions in a school travel plan include promoting the health benefits of walking, providing more or better pedestrian crossings, tighter enforcement of parking and traffic rules around the school, providing cycle training, and setting up a walking school bus.

Other organisations

There are many examples of successful travel plans for tertiary campuses. Successful tertiary travel plans are usually prepared with the assistance of the local public transport agency. As well as the initiatives listed for school or workplace travel plans, tertiary travel plans can include a U-pass system for student travel on public transport.

The development of travel plans for hospitals is a relatively new and interesting field of travel planning.

Travel Plans as a condition of planning consent

A real-estate developer may be required to provide a travel plan as a condition to gaining planning consent. A typical travel plan for a new development will provide for the promotion of sustainable transport through marketing initiatives, and for contributions to public transport and to walking and cycling infrastructure. In the UK, a Travel Plan can form part of a Section 106 agreement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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