A travel plan is a package of actions designed to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options.
Business travel plans look at ways of improving travel in work, deliveries and freight.
When you need a travel plan
You might need a travel plan as part of the planning application process for a new development.
The travel plan is an important part of the Transport Assessment, which works out how many additional car journeys will be generated by the development and how these can be reduced.
You could also consider writing a travel plan if you’re concerned about travel impacts on your business operation, local environment or local community.
Benefits of a travel plan
For your business:
- save money on the cost of providing and maintaining parking spaces
- solve problems caused by demand for parking
- cut mileage claims and other business travel costs
- reduce staff downtime spent travelling on business
- reduce the costs of running a fleet
- solve delivery and customer access problems caused by traffic congestion on and around your site
- help recruit and keep staff by making journeys to work easier and cheaper, and improving your image as a responsible employer
For your staff:
- reduce the cost of travel to work, or remove the need to own a car
- provide a better work-life balance through flexible working and less need to travel on business
- help provide less stressful options for travel to work
- give opportunities to build healthy exercise into daily life
What to include in a travel plan
The starting point for any travel plan is the site audit. If the travel plan is for an existing site, you need to think about where the site is, what facilities and what public transport services are available. If the travel plan is for a proposed new development, this is the opportunity to make sure that the right facilities for managing travel are included in the design of the site from the beginning.
Staff survey and analysis
The staff survey tells you how staff members currently travel to the site. This information is then used to set realistic yet stretching targets for reducing car travel (typically a 10% reduction in people travelling by themselves in a car to the site.)
The survey can be simple, with just 2 key questions (how people travel to the site and their home postcode) or more complex. More complex surveys can give better information about people’s specific travel needs and the barriers they face in accessing the site by walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport. It helps you understand which measures are likely to be more effective at your site, and what you can do to make it easier for staff and visitors to leave their cars at home.
When you understand your site, and how people travel to it then you can set out the measures that you will put in place to encourage each mode of travel. These generally need to be set out under headings for each:
- public transport
- car sharing
- freight and deliveries
- reducing travel
The travel plan will also state targets for reducing the number of car trips and how often those trips will be monitored. This will usually be a simple 10% reduction in car trip from an established baseline, monitored by a simple survey. More complex sites will need additional monitoring such as traffic counts.
In Dorset, most organisations repeat their staff surveys at year 1, 3 and 5.
When you have the results of your survey, you can see what effect your plan is having, which bits are working, and which bit need to be adjusted.