Write a travel plan

Writing an effective travel plan

An effective travel plan should:

  • be site specific. All sites are different, and the travel plan must reflect this. Consider the location, existing travel options, the nature of their business, hours of operation and so on. Use a site assessment and employee/resident travel survey to understand the existing situation
  • be clear about its aims, objectives and targets. These will be dependent on the results of the site assessment, survey and other background information. They need to be clear and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely)
  • be regularly monitored and reviewed to assess progress
  • have a combination of hard and soft measures included in an action plan. Hard measures include things such as cycle parking, priority car share spaces, safe cycling and walking routes. Soft measures are incentives such as discounts, interest free loans
  • be regularly promoted to employees, residents or users of the site
  • be managed by a Travel Plan Coordinator
Background information

This should provide an overview of the site and the development.

Site assessment and travel survey

The site assessment should include how accessible the site is by various forms of transport. It should also include nearby off-site facilities. These could be pedestrian and cycle routes, bus services and bus stops, train station and the local road network.

The survey is to find out how people (staff/residents etc) currently travel to the site. This can be used to judge the success of the travel plan and to find out which measures would be most effective in influencing travel behaviour.

The survey should include questions on the main mode of travel to the site, the reasons for using this mode, where people travel from/to and the length of time taken. This helps find out which modes of transport are likely to be effectively promoted as part of the travel plan. Also ask which incentives would make someone consider alternatives to the car.

Aims and targets

Typical aims include the reduction in single-occupancy car travel, reduced congestion, improving the local environment.

Targets should be measurable. For example an x% reduction in single occupancy car travel in y years. Or actions such as install x number of cycle racks by date y.


Measures are incentives and initiatives that are intended to achieve the targets set. Choose your measures based on the results of the survey, the size of the site, the site assessment and the amount of funding available. Travel plan measures are usually arranged by mode of transport.

Example measures:


  • Promotion of safe local walking routes including the provision of route maps
  • improvements to (and maintenance of) the walking network and signage


  • Improvements to (and maintenance of) the cycle network
  • provision of cycle route maps and improvements to signage
  • secure, well lit, covered cycle storage include pumps
  • showers, changing facilities and lockers for business developments
  • Cycle to Work scheme (tax-free loans for staff)

Public transport

  • Provision of clear public transport information
  • working with local public transport providers to improve services, negotiate discounts and trial initiatives
  • works buses/shuttle buses

Car sharing

Introduction of a car sharing scheme for business developments, such as Hants Car Share.

Car park management

  • Review of car parking policy and introduce a management strategy
  • Review of the issuing of car park permits to ensure a fair system, based on agreed criteria (e.g. operational need)
  • Consider the introduction of charging for parking
  • priority parking space to car sharers
Marketing and promotion

Marketing and promotion are key to the success of your travel plan. It should promote personal benefits, such as time and cost savings to staff/residents, as well as the general benefits such as reduced pollution. Be careful not to come across as anti-car, as many people may dislike this approach and resist.

Monitoring and review

The travel plan should detail how the success of the travel plan will be recorded. It should explain how you intend to measure how effective it has have been and how you propose to find this out. You should have a travel plan co-ordinator appointed to manage your monitoring and review.

Find out more about the role of the travel plan co-ordinator