Travel planning is critical for new developments in order to facilitate the use of sustainable modes among occupiers and visitors from the outset, or to mitigate the impact of trips generated by the site.

When preparing travel plans, their authors and local authority officers should consider the overarching purpose of the particular travel plan. While the travel plan should be developed as a standalone document, it should aim to address any issues identified within the associated transport assessment through the promotion of sustainable transport.

The following elements are essential for a policy compliant full travel plan.


  • Development name (if known), or site name and occupier name (if known)
  • The planning reference number and development description
  • Identify the type of travel plan (full travel plan, framework travel plan or travel plan statement)
  • Full address of the development site, including postcode
  • Contact details for the person responsible for preparing the travel plan
  • The date and version number of the plan


  • Summary and overview of the structure of the travel plan document
  • Brief description of the nature and context of the proposed development
  • The scope of the travel plan (eg covering residents, employees, visitors)
  • Key parameters for each element of the development (ie number of units, land use floor area, number of cycle and car parking spaces)
  • Details of associated travel including numbers of users expected on site, shift patterns, opening times, postcodes of existing staff/visitors where appropriate
  • Outline timescales for occupation and details of any phasing of development, if appropriate

Site assessment

It is recognised that much of this will be contained in the transport assessment.
  • Plan of the development showing boundaries, existing and proposed access points and main routes for all transport modes
  • Summary of the main transport related issues identified in the transport assessment and the infrastructure which will be delivered within the site and in the surrounding area as part of the development (eg cycle and pedestrian routes, private and publically accessible cycle parking)
  • Quality and availability of infrastructure around the site. State Public Transport Access Level (PTAL), summarise how amenable local roads and key routes are to walking and cycling. Where applicable, include a summary of environment assessment reports, such as Pedestrian Environmental Review System (PERS) audits, Pedestrian Comfort Level Assessments, Bus Stop Audits
  • Describe any organisational policies that will influence active travel and public transport use (eg tax-free cycle purchase schemes, flexi-working)
  • Describe any existing facilities and car-related initiatives already in place (eg car clubs in the local area, car sharing, pool cars)
  • Travel provision for disabled site users

Travel surveys

  • Details of any travel surveys (eg iTRACE, TRICS) undertaken if there are existing site users (including method, date, response rate and key findings)
  • Set out initial travel data for the site based on travel survey data, or where there is no or insufficient existing data, on the trip rates and modal splits agreed in the transport assessment (with data drawn from comparable sites in TRICS or Census data)
  • Give details as to when baseline surveys will be undertaken - usually within six months of first occupation or at 75% occupancy, whichever is first


  • Describe the key goals that the travel plan seeks to achieve (ie encourage sustainable movement of people to and from the site)
  • Cover a range of outcomes (eg environmental, health) which should be derived from the policies in the Local Planning Authority's Local Development Framework (LDF), the Mayor's Transport Strategy and the London Plan (eg to reduce CO2 emissions and increase cycling)
  • Ensure these are linked to the specific context of the site set out in the site assessment section


  • Should be set over a minimum five-year time frame, with interim targets at year one and year three. For larger developments or phased developments, an extended monitoring period may be required and targets may need to be set beyond five years
  • Should be ambitious and SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timebound). For example, reduce single occupancy vehicle trips by x% by x date). Clarify which journeys are being assessed (all trips/peak trips only)
  • Should be linked to the objectives of the travel plan (eg if the aim is to promote healthy travel, targets to increase walking and cycling should be set)
  • Should improve on baseline mode share of sustainable modes in the transport assessment and enable the measurement of success in achieving the objectives of the travel plan
  • Can enable enforcement by the planning authority in the event that targets are not met

Package of measures

These should:

  • Clearly contribute to achieving the targets and meeting the objectives of the travel plan
  • Aim to concentrate efforts in the initial period post completion and then maintain these (as opposed to gradual implementation) to enable behaviour change from the start
  • Ensure these are related to the specific context of the site
  • Include 'hard measures' (ie the infrastructure on and around the site that will help to achieve travel plan objectives eg secure bike parking, showering and changing facilities, safe and accessible routes)
  • Include any organisational and 'soft measures' that will encourage sustainable travel (eg season ticket loans, flexible working policy)
  • Clarify details of how car parking will be managed and restrained (eg permits or charging)
  • Include clear details of marketing activities to encourage sustainable travel and who will carry these out
  • Provide an estimate of the cost of the key measures over the lifetime of the travel plan (such as information provision, car club membership). Demonstrate how this cost will be met and by whom
  • Use definite wording that commits to implement the proposed measure (not 'we will give consideration to...')
  • See examples of measures included in travel plans further on this page


  • Identify a Travel Plan Coordinator (TPC) who will oversee implementation, monitoring and review of the travel plan for each occupier or group, including the TPC's name where possible or else a nominated point of contact at a senior level in the organisation. Provide clear roles and responsibilities (which may include management of deliveries and servicing, provision of personal travel planning advice, preparation and distribution of welcome packs, travel plan monitoring)
  • Identify any other individuals involved in managing travel plan initiatives
  • Identify how much time will be dedicated by the TPC to the travel plan and estimate cost associated with this over the lifetime of the travel plan. Confirm how this cost will be met and by whom
  • Give details of management handover arrangements to ensure smooth transfer of travel plan responsibilities from the developer to the TPC


  • Monitoring must be undertaken to ensure the site achieves the travel plan targets and objectives agreed within the planning permission
  • A clear monitoring programme should be provided detailing what and how frequently surveys will be undertaken (usually a baseline survey, and at years one, three and five), who will be responsible and how this information will be reported
  • Whether iTRACE compliant or TRICS surveys will be undertaken and estimate the cost of these over the lifetime of the travel plan. Confirm funding for these surveys

Action plan

  • This is a key part of the document for the TPC and should be a programme for delivering the measures and a means of communicating this to the ultimate site users
  • It should be concise and focused on the delivery of the travel plan measures
  • It should include short/medium/long-term actions, timescales and responsibilities
  • It should include an explanation of the handover process from the travel plan author to the TPC
  • All measures to be introduced should be summarised and there should be clarity on the funding source for these
  • See an example action plan below:

Securing and enforcing

  • It is important that the travel plan is effectively secured through the section 106 agreement for the development
  • Summarise the costs associated with the measures, monitoring and management of the travel plan over its lifetime
  • State the measures in place to ensure the travel plan is implemented effectively, including remedial measures and actions that will be taken if its targets are not met (eg sanctions, performance bonds)

While it is appropriate in some instances to incorporate servicing and delivery information within the travel plan, a separate delivery and servicing plan (DSP) will usually be required and can also be secured by a Section 106 agreement or condition as appropriate. The measures set out in the DSP should be coordinated with the site's travel plan.

Travel plan targets

Setting targets prior to the occupation of a development can be difficult. However, it is important that the local authority is able to determine the likely transport impact of a proposal and to what extent the travel plan is able to mitigate this impact, in order to determine whether the development is acceptable or not.

For example, travel plan targets may help to ensure that traffic generated by the development does not exceed the capacity of nearby junctions, or that the development does not lead to excessive on-street parking.

London-wide targets

To help set targets in context, the Mayor's Transport Strategy aims to:

  • Achieve a 5% modal share for cycling (currently 2%)
  • Significantly increase walking mode share above the current 24%
  • Reduce private motorised transport by 4% from a base of 43%
  • Achieve a 60% reduction in London's CO2 by 2025
  • Balance capacity and demand for public transport

Example travel plan targets

  • To increase the mode share of staff cycling to work from 5% to 10% within two years of completion of the development
  • Introduce flexible and home working into company policy within six months of occupation of the site
  • To increase the number of employees walking to work by 10% (from the baseline of 18%) within one year of the baseline survey being undertaken
  • Increase amount of secure cycle parking by 50% from 34 to 51 spaces by three months after first occupation
  • The number of car vehicle trips per visitor/shopper trip will not exceed X at any time
  • To decrease the number of single occupancy vehicles entering the site by 20% within three years of the baseline survey, to be undertaken in Spring 2014.
  • To reduce CO2 emissions of company fleet by 20% within three years, from the current baseline of Xkg in 2013
  • 80% of users within phase 1 of the development to be aware of travel plan within three months of full occupation
  • The number of weekday vehicle trips generated by the site when site is completed will not exceed X

When using percentages as a target, it is important to ensure values are correctly quantified. You should clearly differentiate between percentage point reduction as opposed to percentage reduction. Including original values next to target values can assist here. For example, the third example target should mean walking mode share increases from 18% to 28%, rather than an increase of 10% on 18% (ie 1.8% added to 18%, resulting in 19.8%).

Travel plan measures to be considered

It has been shown that travel plan measures are most effective at points of 'life transition' such as moving house or starting a new job, and are successful in encouraging users to change previously established travel habits from the beginning (Making travel plans work, DfT 2007 and School Travel Strategies and Plans: A Best Practice Guide for Local Authorities, DfT 2005). A selection of well established travel plan measures is shown below.

Travel plan management and promotion

  • Appointment and training of the travel plan coordinator
  • Access to personalised travel planning advice
  • Establishment of a steering group to share knowledge and coordinate the improvement of sustainable travel options
  • Provision of travel information (eg website link to Journey Planner or bus realtime information, use of TfL widgets, notice board, newsletter, travel advice to visitors)
  • Provision of induction pack for new employees/residents, with package of incentives for sustainable travel
  • Marketing pack and training of sales staff for new residential developments
  • Holding travel plan promotional events (eg Bike Week)
  • Publicise travel plan successes. People may be more likely to continue mode shift if commended as well as encouraging others

Reducing the need to travel

  • Introduce policy on flexible working (eg teleworking, home working, flexitime)
  • Adoption of 'smart' working practices (eg teleconferencing, audioconferencing, hot desking). See our page on smarter working
  • Local recruitment strategy and incentives for staff to relocate closer to work
  • On-site services for employees (eg cafe, creche, shop)
  • Web access and provision of office space in homes
  • Home delivery drop-off points

Increasing walking

  • Promotion of public health campaigns encouraging walking and cycling (eg Change for life for London 2012)
  • Distribution of maps showing safe and convenient local walking routes to services
  • Provision of signage/wayfinding (eg Legible London)
  • Improvements to pedestrian access/quality (eg safe crossings, tactile paving, dropped kerbs, disabled access, CCTV, lighting)
  • Walking events such as led walks at lunchtime or after work, pedometer challenges and Walk Doctor events

Increasing cycling

  • Provision of appropriate numbers, type and location of cycle parking facilities (eg covered and secure)
  • Availability of supporting facilities for staff (eg showers, lockers)
  • Provision of cycle tracks or dedicated segregated infrastructure, where appropriate
  • Discounts or loans for purchase of equipment (eg cycle loan, tax free scheme to employees, vouchers)
  • Advice or training on riding skills, use of bike buddies
  • On-site bicycle repair service (eg Dr Bike events)
  • Cycle maintenance classes
  • Pool bikes and cycle clubs. See our page on encouraging cycling
  • Regular cycling promotion days
  • Provision of information on local cycle routes. Maps are available from our cycling page
  • Promotion of the Santander Cycles cycle hire scheme and Cycle Superhighways

Encouraging use of public transport

  • Provision of a public transport guide as part of sustainable travel information for residents, staff or visitors
  • Integration of conveniently located bus waiting and drop off points, giving easy access to main entrances
  • Contribution towards improving public transport operations: rerouting, capacity enhancements, bus priority
  • Links to TfL's Journey Planner on organisation's intranet
  • Access to realtime service information. For more information, visit Status updates
  • Hosting an update screen within the building for staff and visitors
  • Provision of shuttle service (eg private bus or minibus facilities, taxi share) to local transport hubs
  • Collection from station service for visitors
  • Public transport travel subsidy (eg season ticket loan, Oyster card top up, pre-loaded Oyster card)
  • Bus stop or bus priority improvements (eg shelters, accessibility, live departure information)
  • Policies supporting use of public transport for travel in the course of work (eg pool Oyster cards)

Reducing vehicle trips

  • Commitment to a parking management plan detailing how parking will be allocated and operated (eg whether paid permits are required, dedicated spaces for car sharers, prioritisation of new residential parking for larger units)
  • Commitment to parking surveys, including off-site surveys if appropriate
  • Car-free proposals or reallocation of parking over time
  • Parking enforcement (needs-based allocation, permits, drop off areas, pay and display)
  • Parking charges, with revenue ring-fenced to pay for sustainable travel measures
  • Provision of dedicated spaces for, and funding of, a car club
  • Provision of free membership of a car club for occupiers
  • Corporate car club membership. See our page on car clubs
  • Contribution towards introduction of a controlled parking zone (CPZ)
  • Capping of parking permits (eg residents excluded from applying for parking permits for local CPZ)
  • Promoting car sharing schemes to raise car occupancy levels, including ride-matching databases, a guaranteed ride home, dedicated parking spaces and incentives for carsharers such as preferential parking
  • Providing eco-driving training to staff and residents. For more information the Energy Saving Trust website
  • Provision of secure powered two wheeler vehicle parking and changing facilities
  • Designated pick up/drop off point for taxis and private hire vehicles
  • Providing electric vehicle charging points (both active and passive) and incentives to encourage use of electric and low emission vehicles
  • Providing dedicated parking for low emission vehicles in a priority location and supporting this through the vehicles in the company car fleet
  • Site design to reduce vehicle speed, restricted car movement through the site and Home Zone principles
  • Location of parking to minimise intrusion and avoid dominance of the site
  • Cost of parking not subsumed in cost of admission to sites, but charged separately
  • Discounts for visitors arriving by sustainable transport
  • For visitors, information about sustainable access prominently featured (ahead of directions by car) in all promotional literature, posters and websites publicising the site
  • Marketing of sites based on their sustainable transport access and facilities, not simply availability of car parking

For more information, see the DfT's Essential guide to travel planning (2007).