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Business travel plans

Creating a workplace travel plan will have many benefits for your business and for your staff.

The main purpose of a travel plan is to reduce the number of journeys that people make in cars by themselves, and to encourage them to use other more sustainable alternatives where possible. This might mean finding a different way of making a journey or cutting out some journeys altogether. Business travel plans also look at ways of improving travel in work, deliveries and freight. If your travel plan is a planning obligation, it will be enforced.

Who should have a travel plan

You might be considering writing a travel plan if you are concerned about travel impacts on your business operation, local environment or local community, or if it is a requirement for a planning application.

When you need a travel plan

Certain new developments require a Transport Assessment as part of the planning application process. This determines the additional car journeys that will be generated by the proposed development and how these can be mitigated.

The travel plan is an essential part of the Transport Assessment. It includes mitigation measures and targets for reducing car journeys and a travel mode monitoring regime.

All of these must be agreed with the Highway Authority.

Steps to creating a travel plan

Audit

The starting point for any travel plan is the site audit. If the travel plan is for an existing site, you need to think about where the site is, what facilities and what public transport services are available. If the travel plan is for a proposed new development, this is the opportunity to make sure that the right facilities for managing travel are included in the design of the site from the beginning.

Staff survey and analysis

The staff survey tells you how staff members currently travel to the site. This information is then used to set realistic yet stretching targets for reducing car travel (typically a 10% reduction in people travelling by themselves in a car to the site.)

The survey can be simple, with just two key questions (how people travel to the site, and their home postcode) or more complex. More complex surveys can give better information about people's specific travel needs and the barriers they face in accessing the site by walking, cycling, car sharing and public transport. It helps you understand which measures are likely to be more effective at your site, and what you can do to make it easier for staff and visitors to leave their cars at home.

We can provide you with tools to do this electronically, or you can do a paper survey.

Draft

When you understand your site, and how people travel to it then you can set out the measures that you will put in place to encourage each mode of travel. These generally need to be set out under headings for each: walking; cycling; public transport; car sharing, freight and deliveries; and reducing travel. See Travel Plan Statements for more ideas about what should go in these sections.

The travel plan will also state targets for reducing the number of car trips and how often those trips will be monitored. This will usually be a simple 10% reduction in car trip from an established baseline, monitored by a simple survey. More complex sites will need additional monitoring such as traffic counts.

Monitor

In Dorset, most organisations repeat their staff surveys at year one, three and five. We are gradually moving towards a system where we monitor all travel plans at the same time (in April every two years). This is because it makes it easier to compare results if everybody surveys in the same period.

Review

When you have the results of your survey, you can see what effect your plan is having, which bits are working, and which bit need to be adjusted.

Advice about travel plans

You are welcome to contact the travel plans officer for advice about your travel plan review.

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