In recent meetings with local highway authorities developers are being critiqued for future developments for failures to deliver Travel Plan obligations on previous developments. Here at Paul Basham Associates we have had a number of Travel Plan Coordination works and years signed off recently and have also seen an increase in the requests for undertaking the Travel Plan Coordinator (TPC) role. We undertake the TPC role for residential, commercial and industrial developments, although given the recent feedback with local authorities we have focused this insight on residential developments.
So how are Travel Plans seen in the industry and are they a worthwhile investment for developers? The simple answer is yes! If residents are able to use their local road network with less congestion whilst also being able to get to the local amenities using sustainable travel opportunities then this is where a Travel Plan can help! Travel Plans should be implemented at an early stage as residents move into developments to help them engage in new travel behaviours than the private car, such as using public transport or cycling. Missing this time means residents have already found new ways to travel around their new neighbourhood meaning changing behaviours can be more difficult.
Here at Paul Basham Associates we provide Welcome Packs for residents as soon as they move into their new home. These Welcome Packs include information on local bus networks and timetables, train times and routes, local cycle routes, a local amenities map and information on any associated vouchers or discounts obtained through the Travel Plan. At the same time residents are usually given a travel survey to provide a snapshot of residents’ travel perceptions as they move into their new home. These surveys are then repeated in accordance with the Travel Plan to understand how residents move around their local area.
Residents are then provided with newsletters on a frequent basis. These newsletters provide updates on any changes to local bus/train times, any local travel events, cycling tips and also remind residents to claim the travel plan voucher (if applicable). Regular posts are also made on our dedicated Travel Plan website pbatravelplan.com along with social media outlets including facebook, twitter and Linked In. Using a variety of methods ensures that all residents are kept up to date about travel opportunities in their local area.
As Travel Plan Coordinators we always ensure we visit each development at least once a year, usually combined with a survey and door knocking exercise to engage residents with the Travel Plan. We find that this helps increase with survey response rates and also enables residents to feedback any views on travel in their local area which helps us focus our work and media outlets.
Currently, we coordinate Travel Plans for over 7,500 homes across the country meaning we have excellent working relationships with a number of Travel Plan Officers, including Surrey County Council, Hampshire County Council, Wiltshire Council and Oxfordshire County Council to name a few.
To date, we have delivered full implementation of Travel Plans for over 600 homes. This means that the official 5-year monitoring period has come to an end and we have successfully managed to demonstrate to the respective council that the development is operating more sustainably with residents taking up measures promoted through the Travel Plan. We therefore have a proven track record with Travel Plans and have long established methods of implementing Travel Plans which are adaptable to each and every site.
Therefore, if you need any assistance with Travel Plans, be that preparing them for planning applications, discharging conditions or implementing these are part of the Section 106 agreements please do get in touch!
Here is what Lynne Howard, Travel Plan Officer at Surrey County Council has said about our TPC works:
Paul Basham Associates have consistently brought creativity and enthusiasm to their role here. Their professionalism and effective communication has led to a successful take up of the initiatives on offer
Travel Plan Officer
Surrey County Council