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Travel Plan

We can prepare a Travel Plan on your behalf, in support of your planning application or to discharge a planning condition. It is probably better that you write the plan yourself, as you know your site better then we do, but if you are short on time or . . . low on enthusiasm then give us a call.

A Travel Plan sometime called a Green Travel Plan, or a  Mobility Management Plan is a document that sets out measures to be undertaken by employers, or future site operators to encourage staff and customers to use a sustainable form of transport. In particular this should discourage forms of transport that involve private cars.

Ideas to help get people out of their cars might include;

- bicycle buy back scheme for employees

- car sharing schemes

- wider pavements within developments that run away from roads

- community cycle scheme

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Why do you need a Travel Plan?


Developers etc. may be asked to complete a travel plan if your project is over a certain size, see thresholds for travel plans. This is normally part of the planning process, and



What are Typical Targets in Travel Plans?

A travel plan should set out targets which the development will meet in time. These are typically ambitious and will take a few years to achieve, provided the LPA has the resources to enforce the plans up keep. Many plans are not up kept after planning has been granted, so to some extent the targets are not overly important!

Targets set do often match the existing modal spilt patterns such as can bee seen from comparing the existing modal shift graph above (blue) and the target graph (green) to the left.

Often targets are chosen from local or regional policy documents or guides. It is often unclear as to whether the targets could be actually met.

A review of the surround area of the site is undertaken to provide commentary on what types of transport are likely to be reasonable. Data collection is key, the more you have the better.

For example, how far away do the site users live (or work) and how often do they visits. There are certain distance over which walking becomes unfavorable. The figure is 800m.

For cycling the figure is somewhere between 5 and 10 miles. But this figure relates to commuters and a smaller distance may be applicable for children cycling to school for example.
travel plan targets


A Travel Plan is quite an easy document to write, but there can be an awful lot of faffing about agreeing targets with the planning office. In many ways it boils down as to whether you have time to write it! If not give us a call and we will sort it out, probably quickly too.

Using the Travel Plan Toolkit - Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)

If you are preparing a Travel Plan in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford or Wigan then you will likely have to use the Travel Plan Toolkit. This is a "portal" where you log in and fill out lots and lots of forms, and a travel plan is automatically generated. In some ways this portal system is an improvement over the standard written report, but it removes the ability for us (as consultants) to use a template report and as such dramatically increases costs of delivering travel plan to our clients.

 Travel Plan Toolkit - The Good


One of the best aspects of the the new toolkit is that it covers very thoroughly all of the areas that should be covered in a travel plan, following each transport mode through each stage of the plan, from description, to targets and actions. 

For example, you not only have to set a target for walking, but there are input fields for current % mode split values, and assessment of the walking infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of site. This inclusion of practical elements is a good step. Question may include:


This level of detail is required at every stage of the Travel Plan Toolkit. It requires an in depth knowledge of the project, and the project area. However, because each stage is explained so well this work could be undertaken by anyone who has a copy of the project transport assessment, and knowledge of the site. A site manager would make a good choice. . . if they have the time to fill out the forms! Being there are 100's of forms to fill out this is no small detail.

Images: Courtesy of Travel Plan Toolkit

 Travel Plan Toolkit - The Bad

travel plan measuresIn order to keep costs to our client down, and to speed delivery we typically use a report template, which includes all measures and actions. We would use table to allocate costs and responsibilities etc. and delete rows depending on the scope of action required for the project.

With the Travel Plan Toolkit each and every measure and action has to be manually input in to the relevant field.

For example: Walking as a transport mode, might include for 9 measures, each of these measures will then have around 7 related forms to fill in, so there will be 43 fields to fill in for walking . . . and 43 for cycling, and 43 for Parking . . . . so just to get through the Measures and actions stage you will likely have to fill in 350 input fields.

Many of these fields from page to page are identical. And although the forms are relatively quick to fill using copy and paste, there are subtle differences between each page. Flipping from one page to the next there is a 5 second delay, and regular error messages which serve to frustrate the process. 

In all we would estimate there are 800 boxes to fill in.

Travel Plan Toolkit - The Ugly

Whilst is is possible to copy an entire planning application, on the Planning Portal. It is not possible to copy a Travel Plan, to use as a template on a 2nd Travel Plan. So perhaps the most soul destroying aspect of using the Toolkit is that you have to repeat the whole mind numbing process, even if you compiling 2 travel plans, for neighboring sites with similar uses based on the same survey data. This created a lot a negative feelings in the office, and our chocolate biscuit consumption increased by 17.2%.

Travel Plan Management Strategy

There are various factors which make up a Travel Plan Management Strategy: