What is a Sustainable Travel Plan?

With Sustainable Travel Plans becoming increasingly common as a Section 106 requirement or a planning condition, you may be wondering what exactly they are and why might they be needed?

The overall objective for implementing and creating a Sustainable Travel Plan is to minimise car traffic and promote more sustainable ways of traveling. There has been a recent surge in the need for travel plans due to the vast increase of housing developments appearing across the country and along with the global environmental crisis. There is now a bigger need than ever to try to reduce air pollution. Active Travel created new measures during 2020 which create a need for a higher standard of Travel Planning to promote and monitor travel behaviour. This meaning soon travel plans could become essential to further planning permissions.

Did you know around 30% of pollution is from diesel and petrol engines?

 Who might require a Travel Plan?

Travel Plans are not only for residential developments, although this is where they are most often required. Commercial developments can also implement a Travel Plan and consequently have a positive impact to workers and visitors. Gaining planning permission is often the reason why a Travel Plan must be produced. This is to cater for the influx of traffic to that area and to give back to the community around it. However, many businesses are now choosing to provide a Travel Plan as part of their own corporate social responsibilities and carbon emission reduction targets.

Every Local Authority across the country has varied requirements as to the threshold of when a Travel Plan is required. The current threshold across the east of England for a full residential Travel Plan is usually:

  • Norfolk: 100+ dwellings or on smaller developments where it has been identified that there will be a significant impact on the local road network due to the development.
  • Suffolk: 80+ dwellings for a full residential Travel Plan. Some Travel Plan measures required between 50-79 dwellings (usually a Travel Information Pack and travel vouchers).

There are many other varying factors which can contribute to the need of a plan which may be the roads/infrastructure around the area, the demographic and the commuting options however the above is a general guide.

What is a Sustainable Travel Plan & what is included within one?

There are different scopes of travel plans which may be required, depending on the size of the development.

Smaller residential/commercial sites may only need to produce a sustainable Travel Information Pack which includes all the travel options within the area along with a map and useful websites/apps to use. These may also be required to offer out travel vouchers including bus/rail tickets.

However, larger sites may be required to produce a rather lengthy report detailing how they will try to reduce travel within the area. Along with in-depth local travel information and measures/targets. From this, we produce the Travel Information Packs and provide residents with travel vouchers and Personal Travel Plans. The success of these will be measured through monitoring/surveys. We may also host local events, social media pages with travel updates, competitions for the residents along with supporting services to local amenities. Most often primary schools to support the children to travel safely to and from school.

Please get in contact if you would like any more information or if you may be requiring a Travel Plan : [email protected]

These are just a few of the travel plans we’ve created!

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