What are travel plans?
Travel plans are long-term management strategies for integrating proposals for sustainable travel into the planning process. They should be as a tool to identify opportunities for the effective promotion and delivery of sustainable transport initiatives, both on the proposed and existing developments such as walking, cycling, public transport and telecommuting. The targets and actions in the travel plan should be ‘SMART’ which means they must be:
They should be seen as a toolkit for reducing the demand for travel by less sustainable modes and should not be used as a way of unfairly penalising drivers. Travel plans should, where possible, be considered in parallel to development proposals and readily integrated into the design and occupation of the new site rather than retrofitted after occupation.
The submission of a travel plan is not a guarantee that a proposed development will not be objected to on highways grounds if other supporting documentation, such as a transport assessment, does not demonstrate acceptability in highways terms.
Why are travel plans and travel plan statements important?
Travel plans and travel plan statements can positively contribute to:
- encouraging sustainable travel
- lessening traffic generation and its detrimental impacts
- reducing carbon emissions and climate impacts
- creating accessible, connected, inclusive communities
- improving health outcomes and quality of life
- improving road safety
- reduce the need for new development to increase existing road capacity or provide new roads
They support national planning policy which sets out that planning should actively manage patterns of growth in order to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling, and focus significant development in locations which are or can be made sustainable.
The government’s policy on parking is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. Travel plans, assessments and statements can also be important tools to improve the quality of town centre parking and where necessary to improve the vitality of town centres the quantity too.
Local planning authorities and developers should both consider the wider benefits of travel plans, transport assessments and statements such as helping to promote the attractiveness of a district or site to new visitors and releasing land for development that would otherwise be taken up by required related parking.
Depending on the size and location of a development, different types of travel plans will be required. The threshold and monitoring fees guidance (pdf format, 236Kb).
Travel information packs
Travel information packs are for small developments that fall below the thresholds for a travel plan statement. The objective of a travel information pack is to give new residents an outline of the local service in the area they are moving in to, and the opportunities for sustainable travel to and from the site to the local area. Information on what should be included in a travel information pack (pdf format, 159Kb)
The Travel Plans Team can produce a travel information pack for your development to the agreed Oxfordshire County guidance. For information on the service contact us.
Travel plan statement
A travel plan statement is a simple form of travel plan for smaller developments and can be used where there is a need to encourage sustainable forms of travel but a full travel plan would not be required. It should set out the existing conditions within and near to the development and contains a commitment to the promotion of sustainable travel. It also sets out objectives and measures to encourage travel by sustainable modes.
If it is agreed that a travel plan statement is acceptable for the development then the Travel plan statement template (docx format, 23Kb) should be used.
The travel plans team can produce a travel plan statement for your development for an agreed fee.
Interim travel plans
An interim travel plan can be produced by a developer as part of the application process, it may only be produced instead of a full travel plan when:
- the development is non-residential and the site occupiers/users are unknown
- in circumstances where it is not possible to complete a full travel plan
- to accompany an outline planning application
It will need to contain the background information for the site and a commitment to update the travel plan once the development has been built or an agreed percentage of the site has been developed. The interim travel plan should follow the templates for the relevant final travel plan and contain as much information as possible.
Framework travel plans
The framework travel plan is used for larger mixed-use developments that will have a range of land uses and will have multiple occupiers or phase to the development. It will set out the overall higher-end objectives of encouraging sustainable travel across the site and will be an overarching document that includes joint overall outcomes, targets and indicators which are centrally administrated for the tenants or end-users on the development. It will outline a commitment for individual sites (or uses/elements) within the overall development to prepare and implement their own subsidiary travel plans.
Framework travel plans should be submitted and approved as part of the planning application process following the Framework Travel Plan criteria on pages 48 and 49 of the OCC guidance document below Individual supplementary travel plans for the end-users must be written and submitted to Oxfordshire for approval (as per Oxfordshire County Council requirements) within three months of occupation.
Depending on the overall size of the individual elements of the development, there may be a fee for the on-going monitoring of the framework travel plan and, depending on the size of, the individual occupier's units a monitoring fee may be charged for the subsidiary travel plans that are over the threshold for the end land use.
Full travel plan
A full travel plan is for larger single land use or for larger individual elements of a site that has produced a framework travel plan. The full travel plan is a package of actions designed by a workplace, school or other organisation to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options and a reduction in single occupancy car travel. The travel plans can help to improve health and wellbeing, free up car parking 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. While the overall scope and basic information of a travel plan will be the same, different type of developments will need to be focused on the end-users and their travel patterns.
The residential travel plan is an origin-based travel plan and will have a package of measures targeted at residents of the new build housing; they are targeted at reducing the need to travel by single-occupancy car in the first place and encouraging sustainable travel as an alternative where this is not possible. They should contain a package of measures targeted to the development and it proximity to the existing sustainable travel infrastructure and access to the existing or new local facilities. A residential travel plan will be tailored to the site and should address all aspects of life that create a need to travel and result in a reduction in the number of car journeys
Work-place - Employment / Business / Office
A workplace travel plan is a destination-based travel plan that is targeted at trips made to and from an employment site and for trips made during the working day. The plan should identify how the staff currently travels and the opportunities for switching these trips to other, more sustainable travel modes. It should identify the links to the local walking and cycling infrastructure and the onsite facilities provide as well as information on lift share opportunities and the promotion of the benefits of sustainable travel options.
A retail travel plan is a work-place travel plan for the store staff that also focuses on encouraging customers to travel to the store by sustainable modes where practical. They should contain SMART targets for both staff and customers.
A school travel plan is a destination-based travel plan, it should contain information on both pupil and staff travel patterns and be linked with other school policies, such as eco-schools projects and the school admissions process. The school travel plan should be used to identify and promote opportunities for parents, pupils and staff to travel by non-car modes when possible.
The Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet have approved this guidance document, Transport for new developments: Transport Assessments and Travel Plans (March 2014) (pdf format, 778Kb)
This document covers different types of travel plan that may be produced for new developments. It also sets out the requirements and monitoring fees for any new developments in the county.
The Travel Plans Team are responsible for commenting on planning applications as well as reviewing travel plans and ongoing development related monitoring requirements. In addition to this, the team can also provide a consultancy to developers to produce travel information packs and travel plans for developments with travel plan conditions.
We recognise that some developers may require additional support or practical help with drawing up travel plans or with their implementation. The Travel Plans Team can be commissioned to provide tailored support that will be charged at a fee based on officer time plus any expenses, for example, associated with site visits. This fee would be in addition to any monitoring fees required.