What is a travel plan?
A travel plan is an initiative that falls in the category of “smarter transport choices” and includes:
• Workplace and school travel plans
• Personalised or individualized travel planning
• Public transport information and marketing
• Car clubs and car sharing schemes
• Teleworking, teleconferencing and home shopping.
A travel plan is defined by the government as follows:
“A strategy for managing the travel generated by your organization, with the aim of reducing its environmental impact… [typically involving] support for walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing.” (DfT)
Local Authorities frequently require a travel plan to be produced by businesses as part of a planning application for a larger or expanded site. Essentially, in return for granting planning permission, companies must commit to managing car travel to the site to avoid increased traffic congestion.
The other main application of travel plans is in schools and the public sector – the government is providing grant funding to help all primary schools develop a travel plan by 2010, and many council offices and hospitals already have them in place.
Why station travel plans?
The UK passenger railway is now carrying more passengers than at any time since demobilisation after World War Two, on a much smaller network. This rise in the passenger numbers has led to a vast amount of work being undertaken by the rail industry, the Department for Transport and local and regional authorities to improve access to and from rail stations. For example:
While the initiatives sketched out above are all extremely valuable, they tend to be led by different actors, on different timescales with different objectives.
A Station Travel Plan can bring together all the stakeholders with an interest in rail stations (rail industry, local authorities, passenger groups, bus and taxi operators, cyclists and others) to develop and agree common objectives and a coordinated approach to delivering them.