Travel plans : using good practice to inform future policy

2008-06-16T15:55:49Z (GMT) by Marcus P. Enoch Tom Rye
In Europe, Travel Plans have been known by many other different names including: ‘Site-based Mobility Management’, ‘Green Transport Plans’, ‘Green Travel Plans’, ‘Green Commuting’, ‘Company Mobility Plans’, and ‘Employer Transport Plans’, while in the USA they are covered by the term TDM (Transportation Demand Management) (Ieromonachou, 2004). UK Government guidance A Travel Plan Resource Pack for Employers (Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme, 2001) defines a Travel Plan as being: ‘a general term for a package of measures tailored to meet the needs of individual sites and aimed at promoting greener, cleaner travel choices and reducing reliance on the car. It involves the development of a set of mechanisms, initiatives and targets that together can enable an organisation to reduce the impact of travel and transport on the environment, whilst also bringing a number of other benefits to the organisation as an employer and to staff.’ A second definition is that: ‘A formal travel plan is simply a package of measures that aims to reduce an organisation’s over dependence on the car’. Howland (2003) The idea behind travel plans actually started in the USA – particularly on the West Coast - as a quick and easy response to the fuel crises during the 1970s, but was fairly slow to permeate across the Atlantic. Indeed, in the UK the first Travel Plans only first began to appear during the early 1990s, with the first official policy record being made in the 1998 Transport White Paper – A new deal for transport: Better for everyone (DETR, 1998). In brief, the attractions of travel plans to Governments and local authorities are that they are reasonably quick to introduce, relatively cheap and importantly are usually politically acceptable. In short, they are an ‘easy win’. This is in marked contrast to most other transport improvement schemes which often require high levels of investment over a long period of time and can carry a high political risk – especially in the short term as conditions frequently deteriorate while improvements are being carried out ...