The scale of a travel plan really depends on the size of the 'trip generator' it relates to and the level of ambition. Plans for schools and small visitor attractions can be quite simple. At the top end of the scale are plans for large businesses, communities and business districts. Personal Travel Planning is rather different and is covered in the marketing travel to individuals section. Above all, travel plans need to be tailored to fit, depending on their particular focus.
School Travel Plans
School Travel Plans (STP) cover educational trips to and from schools. Typical measures include better bike sheds, walking buses, working with teachers and parents, cycle training and safe routes to schools. Benefits include improving children’s independence, health and concentration by making it easier for them to travel actively to school.
The last government set a target for all schools in England to have an STP in place by 2010 as part of the Travelling to School Initiative. Although more than 91% of schools did so, there is now a need to build on STPs, as some lacked detail and significant impact. In particular the overall rate of pupils walking and in particular cycling to school remains low compared to other countries or even our own recent past. Concerns about safety are often cited and means, for example, that 20 mph schemes should cover the whole route to school not just the area around the entrance.
- First, try your local school and council to see what policies and funding are in place
- Sustrans have lots of information on safe routes to school
- Making school travel plans work - a study of experience across England (2010, pdf)
Workplace Travel Plans
Workplace Travel Plans (WTP) cover commuting, business trips as well as deliveries to workplaces. Typical measures include car sharing, pool bikes, shuttle services, cycle facilities like parking and showers, home working as well as eco-driving. Benefits include lower sickness rates (from healthier staff), less disruption when transport services going wrong (by having a wider range of options) and lower travel expenses.
The measures involved will vary hugely depending on the type of business and its location: an inner-city WTP might include self-defence courses for those walking at night, a rural WTP could include measures to make a footpath less muddy. Although there is much information available in general, there has been less emphasis on WTPs for smaller businesses. It can be much easier for them to sign up to an area wide initiative that provides help and advice. In urban areas Business Improvement Districts can offer Travel Planning to businesses while initiatives such as the Easit Network covers wider areas, see the case study for more information.
Deliveries are outside the scope of this toolkit but Delivery and Service Plans are Travel Plans for freight and tend to cover:
- Rationalising deliveries so that fewer trips are made.
- Encouraging the use of local suppliers in order to reduce the distance goods travel.
- Using suppliers who use low/zero emission vehicles and train their drivers on eco-driving courses.
- Organising deliveries to be sent or received outside of peak hours to reduce congestion.
- National Business Travel Network is the best point to start but do try your local authority website too.
- Easit Network - an area wide scheme covered in detail in a case study
Residential Travel Plans
Residential Travel Plans (RTP) generally cover for new housing developments. Typical measures include tailored information for new residents, car clubs and high quality bus, walking and cycle routes. By reducing the area needing to be given over to car parking, less land is needed and public spaces in new developments can be made to feel like more than just a car park. By encouraging people moving into an area to use local shops and bus services, their viability can be improved, helping new and existing residents alike.
Making residential travel plans work - Department for Transport
Station Travel Plans
Station Travel Plans (STP) cover rail stations and aim to improve sustainable travel options as an alternative to increasing car parking. Typical measures include improved bus connections, Safe Routes to Stations, cycle parking and good onward information at stations. Benefits include being able to attract more passengers to the station without the cost of more car parking. As railway services are let on new franchises, more stations are being covered by STPs as a requirement of the franchise process. Although there are very few in rural areas so far, this is bound to change. See the revitalising rail section for more ideas.
Station Travel Plans website - Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)
Visitor Travel Plans
Visitor Travel Plans cover attractions such as theme parks, country houses and nature reserves. Typical measures include promotional materials, improved cycle routes and parking, shuttle bus services and incentives, such as ticket price discounts, for those arriving by sustainable travel. It’s no fun trying to have a relaxing day out, only to find oneself stuck in a traffic jam. Benefits include being able to reach a wider range of potential visitor and fewer problems managing traffic and parking at peak times.
Making the journey part of the experience, rather than just a means to an end, can be a great alternative. Corfe Castle in Dorset, for example, encourages visitors to arrive by steam train. instead of clogging up local roads. Leaflets showing other local attractions accessible by bus or bike can encourage visitors to stay in a local area longer and spend money in local businesses.
- Green Access for Countryside Recreation - principles for access audits for visitor attractions that are often relevant for built up areas too
- VisTrav - sustainable leisure travel network
Other travel plans
Up to now most travel plans have been created because they have been required for new developments as a condition of getting planning permission or because of government targets, such as for schools. Voluntary travel plans are not so common. There is a lot of scope to extend the principles of travel planning to other situations, such as high streets, hospitals, supermarkets or even rural bus stops.
Community or neighbourhood travel plans like these can cover valleys, villages, parishes, neighbourhoods, housing estates, wards and so on. This toolkit as a whole is designed to be the first resource for this broader approach to travel planning and you will find more detail in the making your plan section.
Pressure on public spending has led to cuts in local authority budgets for travel planning. Despite being very good value for money, it is newer and easier to cut. By bringing different people, companies and organisations together there is scope to share resources better. Business car club or shuttle minibus vehicles could, for example, be used by the local community during evenings and weekends.