Types of Travel Plans

In 2009 the Department for Transport (DfT) published The Good Practice Guidelines relating to Travel Plans which provided definitions of the various types of Travel Plan in common use. Whilst all developments requiring a Travel Plan will require a Full Travel Plan at some point there are several types of travel plan which may be more appropriate in the initial stages and details of the various options are provided below.

Full Travel Plan

In the case of development proposals where the proposed use and accessibility needs are known a Full Travel Plan will be appropriate. This would include targets and clear outcomes along with measures to ensure that these can be achieved. Monitoring procedures and promotion and marketing strategies will also be included.

Developments such as schools, residential, single occupier retails units, health centres, restaurants etc will all require Full Travel Plans to be prepared and submitted as part of the formal planning application even if that application is in Outline form.

Any uncertainty of an end user of a development does not necessarily mean that a Full travel Plan is not required as the proposed use and general accessibility needs can be identified.

Interim Travel Plan

An Interim Travel Plan may be acceptable where the exact scale and split of uses cannot be identified at the planning application stage. For example there may be proposals for a mix of B1, B2 and B8 uses on a single site but the exact ratio of each use type is not yet known. Until such time as the ratio has been identified a Full Travel Plan cannot be prepared.

Interim Travel Plans will include overall, site wide modal shift targets relating to the various land uses, the accessibility of the proposed site and its location. How the Travel Plan is delivered etc. will be confirmed once the ratio of each use type is known and may form part of a reserved matters application or be subject to a planning condition.

Travel Plan Framework

Where an 'end user' or 'users' are not known a Travel Plan Framework is produced which sets out the above but in a format which will be used to devise subsequent individual plans for each element of the development. This type of Travel Plan is commonly used for large mixed use developments where several different uses and occupiers are proposed but may not be known at the time of the planning submission.

Travel Plan Frameworks still need to set targets and provide measures, outcomes and monitoring procedures etc. for the overall site. If any of the proposed uses exceed the threshold for a Travel Plan on an individual basis the Travel Plan Framework should set out the parameters for them to do so whilst complying to the overall aims of the Framework document.

Travel Plan Statement

Smaller developments may not meet the thresholds whereby a Full Travel Plan is required but in some cases it is still considered appropriate for measures to be put in place to reduce the number of single person car journeys and to increase the use of sustainable travel modes.

In these cases a Travel Plan Statement may be appropriate. This document would focus on encouraging sustainable travel and may take the form of an 'Action Plan' or a simple list of measures which are to be promoted by the developer or occupier of the site. It is unlikely that a Travel Plan Statement would include the formal monitoring which forms a key element of Full Travel Plans.

Area Wide Travel Plan

An Area Wide Travel Plan is most commonly used as part of a development Master plan for larger areas and where multiple sites are under consideration. They may also be used as part of Area Action Plans. However, once the development proposals are at the stage of formal submission to the Local Planning Authority it is likely that they have been sufficiently progressed to allow a Full, Interim or Framework Travel Plan to have been prepared to supplement the submission.

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