What is a Travel Plan?
A Travel Plan is a population wide strategy for travel behaviour change that can be applied to any setting (Education, Business, Community), that includes the evidence and rationale to secure commitment and funding to support the promotion of sustainable and active travel.
Specifically, it is a package of measures that aims to reduce car use to and from any given site. This may target a place that people travel to (e.g. a workplace, school, place of worship, transport interchange, stadium), or a place that people travel from (e.g. residential housing development). The Travel Plan should be based upon research and consultation with the users of the site and should also include:
- Site Audit – detailing the existing and proposed transport links and organisational policies that support travel to and from the site
- Travel Surveys – consultation with users of the site and a range of key stakeholders that explore how people currently travel to and from the site, how they would prefer to travel, and opinions on transport options
- Travel & Transport Issues – a summary of the transport issues that need to be addressed.
- Aims & Objectives – details of what the Plan sets out to achieve
- Targets – specific targets that the Travel Plan will be measured against
- Action Plan – a detailed overview of the activities that will be undertaken
- Monitoring – how success of the Plan will be measured
Essentially, a Golden Thread must run throughout the Travel Plan to ensure that it is well connected and can be picked up by a reader with no prior knowledge of the site, and fully understood.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) sets out the Government’s planning policies for England and how they are expected to be applied. The NPPF sets out that transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of the plan-making and development proposals.
Vitally, the NPPF sets out that ‘all developments that will generate significant amounts of movement should be required to provide a Travel Plan, and the application should be supported by a transport statement or transport assessment so that the likely impacts of the proposal can be assessed.
In practice, this means that Travel Plans are being created across the country for a range of development types and land-uses. However, the way Travel Plans are secured, monitored and implemented nationally is sporadic at best, for too long, in too many areas, a Travel Plan is just seen as a tick box exercise. Modeshift STARS wants to change that, ensuring that all Travel Plans are worthwhile and effective, switching the emphasis from Travel Plan documents to Travel Plan delivery.
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