What is a Travel Plan?
Travel plans are documents that outline how travel to a development site will be managed, with an emphasis on promoting the use of sustainable modes of transport. It is a strategy to increase the share of sustainable trips and reduce the share of single-occupancy car trips to and from a development.
Travel Plans are secured through the planning process (as a planning condition or planning obligation) and involve a long-term commitment to promoting sustainable mobility. Occupiers who subsequently fail to implement, monitor or review their travel plan will be in breach of the terms of their Planning Permission. If it is considered there has been a breach of planning condition/obligation this could result in enforcement or legal action being taken by the Local Planning Authority.
For every development site where a Travel Plan has been required, a Travel Plan Coordinator (TPC) needs to be appointed, i.e. someone who will be in charge of monitoring and implementing the Travel Plan at the site.
What does a TPC do?
A Travel Plan Co-ordinator (TPC) needs to be appointed for each Travel Plan, this can be someone internally from the organisation or alternatively a Transport Consultancy can provide these services.
The TPC role includes:
TPC tasks are not limited to the above, for more information or guidance on the TPC role for your site please contact us.
When should you monitor your Travel Plan?
Monitoring is an integral part of every Travel Plan; it is essential to track progress of the plan and ensure the measures contained in it are facilitating progress towards the agreed targets.
The original travel plan that was approved by the Council for your site should contain the requirements of your monitoring regime. As a general rule, it is expected that first monitoring will be undertaken at 75% of occupation or within 6 months of completion. Then the frequency can be either annual or biennial. Most Travel Plans will last for 5 years but for large-scale developments some West London boroughs require a continuation of monitoring in Years 8 and 10 as part of a ten year schedule (see individual Travel Plan or Legal Agreement to determine if this applies to your site).
How should monitoring be carried out?
Two monitoring methods are possible depending on the methodology used for the travel survey.
It is essential that you seek advice and confirm the approach with the Travel Plan Monitoring Officer (contact details below) before undertaking monitoring to ensure that the monitoring is fully compliant with the standard methodology.
WestTrans will supply organisations with a web-based survey tool at no cost. The Travel Plan Monitoring Officer will send you the link to your survey to be circulated, as well as login details for you to manage the survey by logging into https://london.itrace.org.uk.
Surveys should achieve the highest possible response rate in order to ensure that the data is robust. Incentives and reminders can be used to ensure that an acceptable response is achieved. A survey period of 2-3 weeks is typically used to give as many people as possible the chance to participate.
If you also wish to distribute paper copies of the survey, here are the steps to follow (please note this method is more time-consuming than the online survey):
You will also have to log in to iTRACE to fill out the audit questionnaire online (this is about gathering some site information, for example on the number of parking spaces). This should take no more than 10 minutes.
Don't forget to save the audit questionnaire including the last page ("initiatives and offerings") once filled out before leaving the page.
Once the audit questionnaire is complete and enough survey responses have been received, you will need to submit the audit and survey. To do this, go the "manage audit" pane on the left, and click on the button "submit audit and survey" at the bottom of the page. This closes the survey and sends a notification to WestTrans. We will then be able to review and validate the data. Note that the system will not allow you to submit a survey if the audit questionnaire has not been completed.
Once results have been approved, download and follow the report template and send the completed document back to the Travel Plan Monitoring Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Trip rate surveys are usually required for residential sites or large and complex sites. They consist of enumerators / surveyors coming on site on a neutral day (midweek, avoiding school holidays) to record every person and vehicle coming in and out of the site during a pre-defined timeframe of at least 12 hours (generally between 7am and 7pm).
For this to happen an Independent Fieldwork Company (IFC) could be commissioned, either by the site management directly or by a transport consultancy who would carry out the full monitoring on behalf of the site.
Making arrangements for the survey to take place can be a long process, amongst others because a site visit would need to be undertaken. Similarly, compiling the results after the survey requires some time. Travel Plan Coordinators are therefore advised to start making arrangements as soon as they are made aware of the requirement to undertake a trip rate survey.
The monitoring report needs to entail at least the following:
This template can be used.
If you have any questions on the monitoring process or need any help with implementing your travel plan, please do not hesitate to contact the WestTrans Travel Plan Monitoring Officer.
Travel Plan Monitoring Officer
Tel: 077 1866 9322