This PAN aims to create greater awareness of how linkages between planning and transport can be managed. It highlights the roles of different bodies and professions in the process and points to other sources of information.


Travel Plans

E1. The national thresholds given for the requirement of travel plans (in relation to transport assessments) are based on development type and unit size. At the local level greater innovation can be used to assist decision making by generating an 'accessibility map'. This would identify general zones of high, medium and low accessibility for a given area. These must also be justified by carrying out an accessibility analysis for the development plan area, which can be undertaken as part of a local plan review. Any local variation in thresholds should be documented in the local plan. The local plan should also identify specific sites for which the planning authority considers a travel plan will definitely be required.

E2. A travel plan is a site specific package of practical measures (for example targets and initiatives) which minimise negative impacts of travel and transport and aims to co-ordinate transport with wider policy issues (such as the environment and social inclusion) into a co-ordinated strategy. These measures provided by the developer and/or occupier can be categorised as:

  • Basic e.g. car pooling / cycle leasing.
  • Organisational e.g. flexi time.
  • Disincentive e.g. parking management.
  • Luxury e.g. company buses.
  • Communication / marketing e.g. leaflets / posters to disseminate information.

Further information on travel plans can be found in 'Travel Plans: An Overview' (Scottish Executive, 2002) at:

E3. Those aspects of travel on which individuals place the highest significance should be incorporated into the measures chosen to influence mode, for example time and convenience. An initial survey will identify the current behaviour of staff and their opinions for possible change. The plan should consist of a package of complementary 'carrot' and 'stick' measures that act as incentives and disincentives.

E4. The content of a travel plan should be agreed in conjunction with the Local Authority and reflect the aims and objectives of the Council as a whole. The use of measures is to meet targets which have been derived from the transport assessment or the Local Transport Strategy. Without targets a travel plan becomes an act of good faith.

E5. The plan should encourage change in a manageable way for those it is targeting. It should be practical and realistic in its aims. Most people are already multi-modal in their travel behaviour therefore this will often mean small incremental changes for which the travel plan should have mechanisms in place to ensure the change is sustained in the long term.

E6. It is not always the case that the most resource intensive travel plans have the most effect on mode share. Research has demonstrated that travel plans:

  • Containing only marketing and promotion are unlikely to achieve any modal shift.
  • With car-sharing and cycle measures may achieve 3-6% reduction in drive alone commuting.
  • With the above measures plus large (30%+) discounts on public transport plus works buses may achieve around an 8-13% reduction in drive alone commuting.
  • The combination of all the above measures plus disincentives to car use may achieve a larger (15-20%+) reduction in drive alone commuting.

E7. An example of exceptional commitment would include:

  • An annual budget for measures per employee of £200.
  • Senior management being prepared to lead by example, giving up reserved car parking spaces and changing mode.
  • Support from the developer for a network of buses to serve the proposal, coupled with fare reductions of at least 30%.

E8. Local authorities are encouraged to develop a weighting for different trip reduction measures relevant to their local circumstances, that they and developers can utilise when designing a proposal. A generalised example is given below, however in practice figures will be dependent on the specific context of the proposal.



Major new public transport infrastructure


Minor new infrastructure i.e. bus stops, cycle racks


1-2 new or enhanced public transport services


More than 2 new or enhanced public transport services


Reductions in prices of public transport services by 30% or more


Restrictions on effective parking availability


Annual budget for measures per employee or (retail/leisure) 50m GFA

Not stated










Promotional activities i.e. green transport week


Consultation with staff


Public transport information


Car sharing scheme:

paper based (notice boards)


computer access and self registration


E9. The score indicates a likely level of car trip reduction that can be achieved with those measures at sites in the local area. They should be based on empirical local evidence on the effectiveness of measures. The scores and resultant levels in single occupant trip reduction are then calculated as follows:

  • 8 or less: 3 - 5%
  • 8 - 16: 5 - 10%
  • 16+, which must include parking restrictions: 10 - 15%.
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