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Travel plan

A travel plan is a package of actions designed by a workplace, school or other organisation to encourage safe, healthy and sustainable travel options. By reducing car travel, travel plans can 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:

The term has now largely replaced green transport plan as the accepted UK term for a concept, which first emerged in the US in the 1970s (as site-based transportation demand management) and subsequently transferred to the Netherlands in 1989, where the terms company or commuter mobility management were applied.

From the above and other definitions, these common features underpin the concept:

They can work well the 'package approach' allows complementary tools to be implemented in one go, which means effective but unpopular tools (such as parking restrictions) can be introduced alongside popular but expensive tools (like bus subsidies) to deliver the required benefits whilst cancelling out the negative impacts. Next, the use of the additional 'agent' such as a workplace, school or even a football club which means that travel plans replace the largely negative relationship between local authorities and citizens with a more positive relationship (such as between employer and employee or between school and parent/pupil). Finally, the site l-specific nature of travel plans means they are developed at the neighbourhood level and so focus directly on the transport needs of the users in that local area.

The concept works by developing balanced packages of user-focused transport tools in a partnership that seeks to provide meaningful benefits to each of the stakeholders involved: improved travel choices to the individuals; cost savings, happier and healthier staff and better company image to the implementing organisations; additional business opportunities to service providers and congestion reduction and improved air quality to the government.

The UK Department for Transport defines workplace travel plans as a package of measures produced by employers to encourage staff to use alternatives to single-occupancy car use. The first travel Ppans in the UK were adopted in Nottingham by Nottinghamshire County Council in 1995. Travel plans are now common in the UK, and are starting to become more common in many places throughout Europe as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

  • Travel plans are not really an instrument themselves but a delivery mechanism or strategy for other mostly transport-focused measures.
  • Travel plans are delivered by an additional 'agent' that is not a part of the 'traditional' transport policy institutional structure.
  • Travel plans are initiated in two ways by the organisation or by the government.
  • Travel plans seek to deliver transport and related benefits to the community as well as some more direct organisational benefits to the participating 'delivery agents'.
  • Travel plans are, to some extent, site-specific and so tailored to the specific contextual circumstances.
  • Travel plans deliver, to some extent, a package or a strategy of a wide variety of transport instruments.


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