Why create a travel plan?
Transport isn’t just about getting from A to B – it is an essential part of business. By addressing your businesses travel challenges you can improve its performance.
Supporting sustainable travel in the workplace will:
- improve access to your site for staff and visitors;
- reduce car parking issues;
- enable a healthier and more productive workforce;
- aid staff recruitment and retention;
- encourage more transport investment in your local area;
- reduce travel expenses;
- reduce local congestion;
- boost image of corporate social responsibility and contribution to environmental targets;
- contribute to improving air quality and tackling climate change.
We have put together this toolkit to inspire and get you started on your workplace travel plan.
What is a travel plan?
A travel plan sets out measures to promote and support sustainable travel choices such as walking, cycling, public transport, and car sharing within your organisation, and should be:
- site specific and relevant to both staff and visitors
- a “living document” and should be reviewed and updated regularly.
Your travel plan is a dynamic process that will grow and develop over time. It should be adapted to suit changes in your circumstances and needs as an employer.
The key to a successful travel plan is enthusiasm and commitment, ensuring that the travel plan is a lasting and rolling programme of measures which influence your staff’s travel choices throughout the lifespan of your business. In our experience, businesses who have an effective travel plan show the following characteristics:
- There is senior management support and commitment for the travel plan.
- The provision for a dedicated person (or travel plan coordinator) to manage and implement the travel plan. This does not have to be a full-time position, and could be assigned to an existing member of staff as long as they have time set aside from their normal role to fulfil the requirements of the travel plan.
- Budget and other resources are available to implement the travel plan.
- The travel plan is implemented throughout the business, with new practices and policies integrated in all departments and groups relating to staff (HR/ Recruitment, Health & Wellbeing, Health & Safety, social committee etc.) or travel (Environment, Facilities, Bicycle User Group etc.) to ensure sustainable and active travel are considered in anything the business does.
What should a travel plan include?
The exact contents of your travel plan will vary depending on a number of factors, including the nature of a business operation, location, size of the workforce, and reasons for writing a travel plan.
A travel plan should:
- Introduce the site and general characteristics of the organisation such as location, staff numbers, shift patterns etc.
- Set out all the current travel options to the site and how the design, location of the site, existing facilities and initiatives are encouraging a mix of travel modes. This should include a description of your car parking management policy (see toolkit under ‘Driving’).
- Identify how your staff are currently traveling to work. If you have conducted travel surveys in the past, your travel plan should also provide historic data on how your staff have travelled to work.
- Set targets for a shift towards more sustainable and active travel modes and dates for achievement. This will give you the opportunity to monitor your progress and evaluate why targets have or have not been met.
- Include an action plan that clearly states what measures (both “carrots” and “sticks”) will be implemented, including timescales (start, end, frequencies) and who is responsible for implementation. To be as effective as possible, the plan should include measures which address the travel of employees, business travel, deliveries, visitors and customers.
- Establish monitoring arrangements to track progress in delivery of the travel plan.
Getting started on your travel plan
Get started on your travel plan by following the steps below:
- Register your business on the Travel Devon Toolkit: All businesses in Devon can use the Travel Devon Toolkit for free and have exclusive access to our travel planning tools, including our travel survey and travel audit.
- Use our free travel survey to find out how staff are currently traveling to work and receive an automatically generated report with the key findings. The report will also inform you about what barriers staff are experiencing to travelling sustainably and support for measures to improve travel options. Please see our Travel Survey toolkit for further guidance.
- Complete our free travel audit to find out how well your business scores for encouraging and supporting sustainable travel to your site and receive an automatically generated report with your audit score, advice and guidance for improvements.
- Use the information you have gathered to decide upon measures to improve sustainable travel options to your site. These measures can be low cost, quick and easy to implement, so you can get started on them today. Browse the rest of our toolkits for measures to support and encourage sustainable travel behaviour.
- Write and publish your travel plan.
- Start implementing the measures you have proposed in your travel plan and get your staff involved. Bring your travel plan to life and engage your staff by providing information and organising campaigns and events about the various travel options for your site.
The University of Exeter has developed a travel plan which has been very effective in reducing the amount of people driving to work alone to their site.
Travel plans are there to help you achieve your sustainable travel goals and can be tailored to your specific needs. The best travel plans are not necessarily the longest!
Travel plan steering group
A travel plan steering group is a group of people who support the implementation of the travel plan measures, discuss sustainable options to your site, and decide how these can be improved and promoted.
It’s a good idea to include a wide range of people from your organisation to represent different areas and grades of seniority. This should be comprised of people using different travel modes, including car users.
Through this group people can discuss and generate ideas, as well as plan events and action the implementation of measures. Sending out meeting notes or minutes to staff members is an effective way to keep employees up to date with what is planned.
If other employers are located near to your site, you could consider forming a travel forum with representatives from neighbouring organisations, to collaboratively improve and promote travel options to your area. This can make implementing certain measure like car sharing, more effective, as more people are likely to sign up to the scheme.
Further information and support
For further information, or if your travel plan is a requirement of a planning permission, we recommend that you also read the Department for Transport guidance ‘Travel Plans, Transport Assessments and Statements’.
Want to encourage smarter travel to work at your workplace? Devon County Council can offer support* to organisations who want to enable their staff to travel more sustainably and actively. Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
*Support offered will depend on availability of funding, COVID-19 restrictions and engagement and commitment of your workplace.
When following our toolkits, please check the government guidance for safer travel.
This page was last updated March 2021.
- Travel Devon toolkits – guidance on measures to support and encourage sustainable travel: http://www.traveldevontoolkit.info/toolkits/
- University of Exeter Travel Plan: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/sustainability/travel/whatissustainabletravel/
- Department for Transport guidance ‘Travel Plans, Transport Assessments and Statements’: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-plans-transport-assessments-and-statements