Can the travel planning process be improved? A Kent case study, 2012.
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Can the travel planning process be improved? A Kent case study, 2012. Can the travel planning process be improved? A Kent case study, 2012. Document Transcript

  • University of Westminster School of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentCan the travel planning process be improved? A Kent case study. MSc Transport Planning & Management - 2012 Thomas King
  • AcknowledgementsI would like to thank all those that have assisted me in the production of thisstudy and throughout the duration of the course. In particular I would like tothank the following:Peter White and Peter Stanley who have supported me during the year in thedevelopment of my study. Many thanks for your advice.My employer, Kent County Council who have provided the financialassistance to permit me to complete this course, and to my colleagues KatiePettitt and Charlotte Owen who assisted with the development and collectionof the study data as part of a wider paper on ‘Making Workplace Travel PlansWork’.My family and friends who have supported me throughout the two year course.Lastly I would like to thank those who assisted me in the data collection stageof this study by agreeing to be interviewed. 2
  • AbstractDespite popularisation of the terms over 20 years ago Agenda21 andsustainability are still current, topical issues, which attract attention andstimulate debate at the highest levels of global governance. This studyexamines the early ideas of sustainability to understand the role it has playedwithin global and UK national policy. One of the key local impacts as aconsequence of this global debate has been the creation of Travel Plans as amethod to minimise the impact of growing traffic associated with newdevelopments. By examining the rise of global and national policy, this studyseeks to understand how Kent County Council, and organisations within theCounty have developed, implemented and operated their Travel Plans. Of particular interest is the view that Travel Plans are not producing theoutcomes originally intended. As a result, the research undertaken as part ofthis study is designed to look at site-specific examples to understand theproblems associated with trying to implement and run a successful TravelPlan. Importantly this will touch on the wider issues of national policy, localgovernment and the problems faced by businesses trying to achieve tangibleresults. This study will conclude by highlighting the key areas that need to betackled at both the national, local and organisational level if Travel Plans areto become successful and more widespread across the UK.Word count: 19,938 3
  • Contents1. Introduction ............................................................................................. 4 1.1. Aims .................................................................................................... 4 1.2. Structure.............................................................................................. 4 1.3. Conclusion .......................................................................................... 52. Literature review ...................................................................................... 6 2.1. Introduction ......................................................................................... 6 2.2. Sustainability “Agenda21” ................................................................... 6 2.3. Theoretical approaches to sustainability ............................................. 8 2.4. National and local policy background .................................................. 9 2.5. Travel Plan background .................................................................... 11 2.6. PPG13............................................................................................... 11 2.7. NPPF................................................................................................. 12 2.8. Travel Plan types .............................................................................. 13 2.9. International Travel Plans and fiscal incentives ................................. 14 2.10. Corporate social responsibilities ........................................................ 15 2.11. Conclusion ........................................................................................ 183. Methodology .......................................................................................... 20 3.1. Introduction ....................................................................................... 20 3.2. Choice of topic .................................................................................. 20 3.3. Study design ..................................................................................... 20 3.4. Qualitative data ................................................................................. 22 3.5. Quantitative data ............................................................................... 23 3.6. Data analysis ..................................................................................... 24 3.7. Ethical considerations and data protection ........................................ 24 3.8. Conclusion ........................................................................................ 25
  • 4. Results & analysis ................................................................................. 26 4.1. Online survey responses ................................................................... 26 4.2. Creation............................................................................................. 27 4.3. Implementation .................................................................................. 30 4.4. Reviewing.......................................................................................... 31 4.5. Engagement ...................................................................................... 33 4.6. Success............................................................................................. 34 4.7. In-depth telephone interviews ........................................................... 36 4.8. Response summary .......................................................................... 38 4.9. In-depth telephone interview analysis ............................................... 41 4.10. Kent County Council interviews ......................................................... 42 4.11. Sustainable Transport Manager interview ......................................... 43 4.12. Senior Development Planner interview ............................................. 44 4.13. Conclusion ........................................................................................ 465. Conclusion ............................................................................................. 48 5.1. Introduction ....................................................................................... 48 5.2. To explain the origins of Travel Plans ............................................... 48 5.3. To identify past and present policies relating to Travel Plans............ 49 5.4. To investigate how KCC manages the Travel Plan process.............. 51 5.5. To research how companies are managing their Travel Plans.......... 52 5.6. To identify constraints within the travel planning process ................. 53 5.7. To establish how Travel Plans can be improved ............................... 55 5.8. Limitations ......................................................................................... 58 5.9. Further research ideas ...................................................................... 586. References & Bibliography................................................................... 60 6.1. References ........................................................................................ 60 6.2. Bibliography ...................................................................................... 64 2
  • AppendixAppendix A - Online survey results - Online survey letter - Online survey responses - ‘Making Workplace Travel Plans Work’ PaperAppendix B - In-depth telephone interview transcriptsList of figuresFigure 01 - The research process.Figure 02 - Online survey responsibility responses.Figure 03 - Online survey ‘why’ responses.Figure 04 - Online survey key features responses.Figure 05 - Online survey problems responses.Figure 06 - Online survey implementation problem responses.Figure 07 - Online survey updating responses.Figure 08 - Online survey behavioural changes.Figure 09 - Online survey engagement responses.Figure 10 - Online survey satisfaction responses.Figure 11 - Online survey successful / unsuccessful key points.Figure 12 - Online survey improvement responses.Figure 13 - Online survey improvement responses.List of tablesTable 01 - Follow-up interview sites.Table 02 - KCC iTRACE database breakdown.Table 03 - Online survey response breakdown.Table 04 - Follow-up interview sites. 3
  • 1. IntroductionThis study seeks to explore the issues surrounding Travel Plans and the widerpolicies that have developed over the past two decades. It will encompass thepressures of global, national and local policies, which have continued toevolve from the very early ideas of Agenda21 and sustainability.The main focus of the study will be to look at existing Travel Plans required aspart of a Section 106 agreement, and where possible, Plans which have beendeveloped on a voluntary basis. In order to deconstruct the current situation inthe UK I will be contacting businesses that have introduced Travel Plans,initially to understand how their Plans were developed, but also to identify thepossible impacts this has had on changing employee travel behaviour.Crucial to understanding how Travel Plans could be further enhanced, it isimportant to determine if the current fluid situation surrounding national andlocal government Travel Plan policy is impacting upon their long-term viability.If it is, what policy changes are required? and what can one learn and indeedrecommend having considered the thoughts and opinions of businesses thathave implemented plans in recent years?1.1. AimsThis study has a number of aims: 1. To explain the origins of Travel Plans; 2. To identify past and present policies relating to Travel Plans; 3. To investigate how KCC manages the Travel Plan process; 4. To research how companies are managing their Travel Plans; 5. To identify constraints within the travel planning process; and 6. To establish how Travel Plans can be improved.1.2. StructureIn order to achieve these aims, this study will be structured into the followingsections:(a) Literature review - concerned with framing the context of the study from an abstract stage, moving towards a more concrete account of today’s situation. In order to do this, the study will look at the origins of sustainability and the original Agenda21 movement. It will then focus on the national and local government policies that have been developed. It will also cover international examples, along with the move towards fiscally incentivising Travel Plan development.(b) Methodology - this section is concerned with identifying the study choice and design. It will also identify the use of quantitative and qualitative data and set out how this is going to be analysed to help answer the main aims of this study. 4
  • (c) Results - this section will include analysis of research undertaken via contacts obtained by accessing Kent County Council’s iTRACE database of implemented Travel Plans. To enhance the initial research further, additional in-depth interviews will be undertaken with a selection of the initial respondents. As part of understanding how Travel Plan policy is changing at the more local level, interviews will also be carried out with key members of staff at Kent County Council.(d) Conclusion - to conclude this study and answer the original aims, the conclusion will firstly deal with the responses to the initial survey; secondly the in-depth interview information will be introduced, and finally the results from the interviews undertaken with Kent County Council. This will all be used to try and answer the main aims of the study and to understand what needs to be done to improve the performance and longevity of Travel Plans in the UK.1.3. ConclusionBy setting this study within the context of current planning policy regime andalso including the origins of Travel Plans, it is envisaged it will be possible toset the scene for making suggestions for future improvements to the UK’stravel planning process. By collecting data from live Travel Plans the study willbe able to establish what progress has been made, and where improvementscould or should be introduced. Today’s society is a dynamic one, with issuesof sustainability and new environmental policies continually being adaptedand developed by successive governments. This study will also seek toevaluate the current situation by connecting live Travel Plan examples withcurrent Government policies and looking at how they perform. In order forTravel Plans to continue, there is a real need to have a better understandingof what businesses require from future policies. This will enable businesses tointroduce Travel Plans that produce meaningful results, as opposed to justbeing a ‘box-ticking exercise’. 5
  • 2. Literature review2.1. IntroductionThe aim of this chapter is to set the study within a context that will introducethe reader to the notion of Travel Plans, as well as the national and localpolices that have guided their development over the past two decades.The literature review will seek to focus on the rise in importance of the term“sustainability” in the public and political conscience and the ideas ofAgenda21. It will then look at the increasing prevalence of Travel Plans andthe history surrounding the securing, enforcing and monitoring of such Plansas a result of national policies, such as PPG13. In addition to this, the reviewwill look at the rise in corporate and social responsibility, and the changingattitudes this has brought towards sustainability and Agenda21.This chapter has been structured in such a way to allow the reader to followthe ‘journey’ of Travel Plans from the theoretical abstract ideas, through to thepolices that have led to a change in attitude by many companies towards theirsocial responsibilities. A key question throughout this literature review iswhether current policies are successfully influencing and changing travelbehaviour to produce more sustainable patterns of commuting for theforeseeable future.2.2. Sustainability “Agenda21”Agenda21 is a voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations firstproduced at the United Nations Conference on Environment andDevelopment (“UNCED”) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992. The Agenda21plan fundamentally outlines the understanding that the environment must beintegrated into all the policies and actions of industry, Government andconsumers, and attempts to address the causes of environmental degradationas a means of creating a more sustainable economy and society. Agenda21has played an important part in raising the awareness of sustainability as aterm and as a global movement towards creating a more ecological balance.Since the early 1990s, issues of Agenda21 have been considered to be oneof the world’s most important concepts for beginning to deal with the subjectof sustainability. Lele (1991, p.613) remarked that its development is a‘metafix’ that will unite everybody from the profit minded industrialists and riskminimising subsistence farmers to the equity seeking social workers. Theselocal environmental strategies are not only linked to changing nationalpriorities, but also reflect the particular economic, environmental and politicalchallenges impacting on decision making in each locality (John, White & Gibb,2004, pp. 151-168). Peck (1998, pp. 5-21) suggests that the issues ofAgenda21 offer more means to contribute to democratic renewal in the UKthan perhaps any other function of local government.As it stands, Agenda21 does not have a formal authority of its own to directothers to green their policies; hence it relies on a more ‘bottom-up’ approachto integration. To speed up reform, past and present Governments have 6
  • looked to capitalise on the ideas of Agenda21. However, as a term, Agenda21has now been superseded by the term ‘sustainability’ (Wilkinson, 1997, pp.153-173). This builds on the work of Agenda21, but also starts to draw on newpolicies and binding regulations as part of the planning process. It also seeksto widen the scope of Agenda21 to cover areas such as: jobs; energy; cities;food; water; oceans; and disasters (RIO+20 UN, 2012).Given heightened awareness and political pressures, the world’s governmentscan no longer afford to ignore the environmental agenda (Cocklin and Blundel,1998, p. 59). With the development of national and international policies, weare starting to see planning policies that set out more detailed parameters forlocal authorities to follow. Currently, local economic pressures, interests andtraditions have led to significant spatial variations in local environmentalpolitics and policies. O’Brien and Penna, (1997, p. 186) believe that someaspects of the economic and political system privilege some strategies overothers, this has resulted in certain places and regions benefiting more so thanothers.In England there is evidence of a marked variation in the commitment andapproaches towards sustainability and Travel Plans. These appear to reflect‘local contingencies’ and depend upon how local authorities have chosen tomanage their interests. Research by Emma Young in 2011 highlights onedifference - Travel Plan enforcement. Her study showed that out of 86 LocalAuthorities, 46 knew of examples where Travel Plans subject to planningconditions or Section 106 agreements had not been implemented, yet verylittle evidence is available to demonstrate how Local Authorities have beenenforcing planning conditions. It is clear from Young’s study and others thatdifferent local authorities are prioritising some environmental policies overothers, and developing different ways of managing local economic-environmental tensions to satisfy both local and political needs and interests.An alternative interpretation is that uneven development and rollout ofAgenda21 has arisen as a result of the rapidly changing landscape of localand regional governance and state agendas; termed ‘local strategicselectivity’. Without strong governmental prescription of targets and definitions,a wide range of interpretations have developed. Furthermore, competingpressures and resource constraints has meant Agenda21 was unlikely to topthe agendas of most local authorities that continue to be preoccupied withincreasing economic development (Patternson & Theobald, 1996, p. 10).Consequently, as Agenda21 became incorporated it was simultaneouslybeing detached from the key priorities in local and regional governance. In2000 the then Labour Government introduced the Local Government Act. Thisgave greater discretionary power to local authorities to promote economic,social or environmental wellbeing, whilst also requiring community strategiesto be prepared.Bruff and Wood (2000, pp. 519-539) saw this change as a move away frommarket-based concerns, to one more in touch with the wider conceptions oflocal services and priorities. It is also a reverse to a traditionally conservativeapproach to encourage innovation and closer working between localauthorities and their partners to improve communities’ quality of life (DETR, 7
  • 2000, p. 7). Pinfield& Saunders (2000, pp.15-18) believe on the other handthat this Act marks a shift to a ‘weaker’ meaning for the term ‘sustainabledevelopment’ in comparison with the spirit of local Agenda21.2.3. Theoretical approaches to sustainabilitySustainable development has been discussed extensively over the past twodecades in political, economic and social forums alike; however the meaningof the word is something that remains contested. The geographical scale atwhich sustainability is viewed is most often global, dealing with the conceptualissues rather than actual policy change. Breheny (1992) believes it is this lackof empirical applicability, which has resulted in the discipline of sustainabilitybecoming so contested. The range of literature on the topic is extensive andencompasses varying fields as detailed earlier in the literature review.Sustainable development ought to mean the creation of a society and aneconomy that can come to terms with the life-support limits of the planet. Butas Class (1997, p. 2) has discovered, the current approach to sustainabledevelopment can only be described as a “chimera, a theoretical position thatattracts attention, stimulates debate and raises awareness about the scopeand transition to a less unsustainable world”. The main difficulty withsustainable development lies not just in its ambiguity; there is a real issue ofdemocratic probity at stake, if a majority honestly does not want to pay what itsees as ‘the price’ for sustainable development, who is to deny them theirlegitimate wish? As Shen (1997, p.76) explains “a multifaceted approach isnecessary”. Muschett (1997, p.81) explains in his work that “sustainabledevelopment occurs when management goals and action are simultaneouslyecologically viable, economically feasible and socially desirable; these implyenvironmental soundness and political acceptability”. The term ‘sustainabledevelopment’ has had widespread political usage because of its broadapplication and vague definition. If we are to tackle these problems,sustainability requires a fundamental shift in value and behaviour (Smith,Whitelegg & Williams 1998). This includes a shift from materialism to a moreholistic view of what constitutes quality of life. Intangible, but also realelements of human contentment such as social cohesion, community andself-development must also be given greater priority.Today sustainable development is a socially motivating force, in O’Riordan &Voisey’s (1997) book Sustainable development in Western Europe theauthors perceive that because we globally understand our long-term survivalis at stake, we will continue to develop the term ‘sustainability’. This mayultimately prove to be the most important driver towards envisioning asustainable future. Muschett (1997) believes that in order to break throughthese barriers, government leadership, private sector ingenuity and publicsupport will be required. Regulatory obstacles will also need to be removed tosupport this process.Key to tackling regulatory obstacles is the hierarchical assignment ofresponsibility, which to a certain extent is still held by a central authority.Kairiukstis (1989) believes that the objectives of sustainable developmentmay be achieved more easily if the process of socioeconomic development 8
  • and environmental change are implemented on a more regional, or local scale.Going back to Rio in 1992, the importance of local authorities andmunicipalities was stressed as a way of achieving sustainable development.Beck (1992, pp.37-74) suggests we are slowly moving in the direction of morelocal frameworks where we will no longer see politicians exclusively carryingout many tasks. As a consequence, numerous social and environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have become important political actors,opening up a whole new area of ‘sub politics’, potentially adding an additionallayer of complexity to a system already poorly understood.2.4. National and local policy backgroundThe implementation of a sustainable approach to planning relies on thecreation of strong national and local policies and guidance to support TravelPlans. Bond and Brooks’ (1997, pp. 305-321) work shows that nationalguidance is often created in a hope to provide impetus for furthermethodological development at a more local level. In July 1998 the LabourGovernment released a white paper on transport policy ‘A New Deal forTransport: Better for Everyone’, this was intended to decrease thedependence on the private car, (T. Rye, 2002, p287-298) whilst promoting apolicy to encourage the voluntary take up of Travel Plans.National Government policies are about providing local authorities with theinformation and guidance necessary to enable them to become proactive. Inthe case of Travel Plans it is about putting in place the necessary supportstructures to enable collaborative working between public and privateorganisations. National policies are ideal for creating a top-down approach fortackling issues such as a national plan for dealing with traffic congestion, ornational strategy for reducing CO2 emissions, they do not however provide asolution to deal with the more localised issues, for instance, tackling the verysource of the problem hampering the success of Travel Plans; thestereotypical views people hold of the private car. A study by Lek in 1999found that 61% of 14 - 16 year olds viewed a car as essential to their lives. Inorder to tackle these views Pacione (2002) believes that national policiesneed to be implemented and tackled at the local level. It has also been arguedby Allen, Anderson & Browne (1997, pp. 3-6) in their study Urban Logisticsthat Pacione’s idea of implementing change at the local level must also bebacked up by more prescribed national plans in order to promote the purposeof greener credentials to the widest possible audience.In response to national frameworks produced by the Government, localauthorities have drawn up localised Regional Spatial Strategies to try andtackle some of these problems. The South East Plan (2009) has a chapterfocused on transport, which highlights the importance of transport issueswithin Kent and the wider south east region. The policy states:“Monitored travel information for the south east shows an increase in overalltravel per person since 2004, including an increase in travel by car […] theneed to re-balance the transport system in favour of sustainable modes isrecognised throughout this Plan […] our vision is a high quality transportsystem to act as a catalyst for continued economic growth” 9
  • As part of the South East Plan, all local authorities are required to ensure theirlocal development documents and transport plans identify any developmentsthat could create additional traffic constraints on the transport network andensure a Travel Plan is developed. More recently Local Authorities have beencreating their Local Development Plans; the bulk of which involves theestablishment of the Local Development Framework (“LDF”) Core Strategy.The policies contained within the LDF are then used to outline policies againstwhich all development within an area is assessed. LDF policies take theirguidance from national Planning Policy Statements and from policiescontained within Regional Plans.Government policies, both nationally and locally are designed to facilitatechange, for example Travel Plans are about changing travel habits andensuring shorter commuter trips are able to occur by green modes or bypublic transport, and where this is not possible, to support alternatives suchas car sharing schemes (Banister, 1999). However, according to the UKround table on sustainable development (Southwood, 1996, p. 5).“There is no magic solution to the many problems caused by present landtransport patterns and trends”.For this reason we need to have a greater range of co-ordinated strategies tominimise current and anticipated future adverse impacts. In 1999 theTransport Bill provided the legal framework for a number of measuresdesigned to support travel planning, including the introduction of work placeparking charges (Green et al, 2011, pp. 235-243). One of the only Councils tointroduce this policy has been Nottingham County Council. Businesses withmore than 11 spaces will be charged £288 a year per space, rising to £380 by2015. The levy has been introduced to pay for transport improvements,including the extension of Nottinghams tram network. Many employers havedecided to pass on some or all of the charge to their staff while some havereduced their number of car parking spaces. AA president Edmund King saidthat schemes such as this will damage the economy and hit employees whojust cant afford it (BBC News, 2012). It remains to be seen if this new policymeasure has been effective at reducing congestion and creating a modal shifttowards public transport.Presently in the UK the planning process is the only national mandatory routeby which a Local Authority can require a Travel Plan to be produced (Roby,2010). It has long been acknowledged that the current setup is overlyburdensome to ensure any commitment and that outcomes are enforced (LTTIssue 575). Similarly, even following the introduction of national policies whichallowed devolution of power to local authorities to develop congestioncharging zones and workplace parking levies, very little progress has beenmade on the case for private firms to voluntarily create and implement aTravel Plan. Furthermore, given the nature of modern development, it is oftenthe case that suburban and city-edge sites are being required to produceTravel Plans, as opposed to existing inner-city sites where there is oftengreater need. Existing national policies make no attempt to tackle this problem(Enoch et al, 2003). Research by Rye and MacLeod in 1998 concluded thatemployers must believe that there is a transport problem which impacts upontheir site and in addition to this, that they have a responsibility, or some 10
  • responsibility to solve it. As a consequence, any future policy changes aregoing to need to engender confidence in the national system, whilst locally itis going to be important to develop ownership and accountability if TravelPlans are to be successful.2.5. Travel Plan backgroundA great deal of information now exists on what Travel Plans are and how todevelop them. However, the effective implementation of such plans has beenfar from easy to secure (Coleman, 2000, p139-148). A Travel Plan can bedescribed as: “A package of measures implemented by an organisation to encouragepeople who travel to/from that organisation to do so by means other thandriving alone by private car”.Presently, Travel Plans are introduced to solve a very local problem, whichmay be site or area specific and generally relate to congestion or a parkingshortage (Bradshaw, 2001). Kent County Council’s guidance on securing,monitoring and enforcing Travel Plans in Kent (2012) defines a Travel Planas:“A strategy for managing multi-modal access to a site or developmentfocusing on promoting access by sustainable modes.”From a point 20 years ago when Travel Plans where unknown in the UK, theyhave now become a central part of UK policy, especially English transportpolicy and the wider “Smarter Choices” (2005) agenda. This is mainly down toglobal influences, such as the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which spawned anew movement demanding greater accountability for the global environment.Today, Travel Plans can be implemented voluntarily, though it is more likelythat a Travel Plan will be required as part of a new, or expanding developmentthat requires planning permission. It should be remembered that even when aTravel Plan is being provided, it cannot justify the siting of a development in atotally unsuitable location. However, a sufficiently strong Travel Plan may helpto counterbalance the disadvantage of a site where sustainable access,without Travel Plan measures would be less than ideal.2.6. PPG13Travel Plans were first included within national planning policy in PlanningPolicy Guidance Note 13 (“PPG13”) in March 2001. PPG13 stated that:“The Government wants to help raise awareness of the impacts of traveldecisions and promote the widespread use of Travel Plans amongstbusinesses, schools, hospitals, and other organisations. Local Authorities areexpected to consider setting local targets for the adoption of Travel Plans bylocal business and other organisations and to set an example by adoptingtheir own plans.” 11
  • PPG13 did not set out any standard format, or content for Travel Plans. It didhowever state that their relevance to planning lies in the delivery ofsustainable transport objectives, including:  Reduction in car usage and increased use of public transport, walking and cycling;  Reduce traffic speeds and improved road safety and personal security particularly for pedestrians and cyclists; and  More environmentally friendly delivery and freight movements, including home delivery services.PPG13 was also supported by a number of other guidance documentsincluding:  Making residential Travel Plans work: guidelines for new development - DfT, 2007;  The Essential Guide to Travel Planning - DfT, 2008; and  Good Practice Guidelines: Delivering Travel Plans through the planning system - DfT, 2009.2.7. NPPFIn 2012 PPG13 was superseded by The National Planning Policy Framework(“NPPF”), this combined existing guidance into one easily accessibledocument. The emphasis on sustainable transport has remained consistent,and NPPF continues to place an importance on the use of Travel Plans. Itrecommends that Travel Plans should be submitted alongside all planningapplications that are likely to have a significant transport implication(Communities & Local Government, 2011, point 89). In the locating anddesigning of developments, NPPF states the need to:  Efficiently deliver goods and supplies;  Priorities pedestrian and cycle movements;  Have access to high quality public transport facilities;  Create safe and secure layouts;  Minimise conflict between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians;  Avoid street clutter;  Where appropriate establish home zones;  Incorporate facilities for charging plug-in and other ultra-low vehicles; and  Consider the needs of people with disabilities by all modes of transport. 12
  • NPPF goes on to emphasise that the primary purpose of the planning systemis to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development, which itdefines as:"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising theability of future generations to meet their own needs" (Report of the WorldCommission on Environment and Development, 1987).Sustainable development is central to the economic, environmental and socialsuccess of the country and is the core principle underpinning planning. Forthe planning system, delivering sustainable development means:  Planning for prosperity (an economic role) use the planning system to build a strong, responsive and competitive economy, by ensuring that sufficient land of the right type, and in the right place, is available to allow growth and innovation; and by identifying and coordinating development requirements, including the provision of infrastructure;  Planning for people (a social role) use the planning system to promote strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing an increased supply of housing to meet the needs of present and future generations; and by creating a good quality built environment, with accessible local services that reflect the community’s needs and support its health and well-being; and  Planning for places (an environmental role) – use the planning system to protect and enhance our natural, built and historic environment, to use natural resources prudently and to mitigate and adapt to climate change, including moving to a low-carbon economy.2.8. Travel Plan typesThe framework recommends that three components; economic, social andenvironmental, should be considered in an integrated way, looking forsolutions that deliver the best-combined approach. It is envisaged that theplanning system must play a much more active role in guiding developmenttowards a sustainable solution. A key requirement to facilitate this will bedelivered through a Travel Plan. It is recommended that all developmentsgenerating significant amounts of movement should be required to produce aTravel Plan. This is however only possible if Travel Plans are embeddedwithin Local Planning Policy, including Local Development Frameworks.Travel Plans have three distinct process stages, somewhat different to thehistorically drawn out process, which led to confusion and failure of pastTravel Plans under PPG13:1. Framework Travel Plans. These are normally secured at Outline Planning Stage, and may be submitted or secured as part of a Full/ Detailed Planning Application, provided there is a clear and agreed pathway for submission of a Detail Travel Plan. 13
  • 2. Detailed Travel Plan. These should be submitted with a Full/Detail Planning Application. In some cases it may be deemed appropriate that the Developer or Site Management Company oversees the Plan. Alternatively, the requirement may be devolved to individual tenants, however where this occurs, the Developer or Site Management Company who submitted the Travel Plan retains overall accountability, with tenants requirements secured through the Tenancy Agreement.3. Small Business Pro-forma Travel Plan. These are normally for multi-use sites with a number of small business units. It may be unnecessarily onerous to require the development of a Detailed Travel Plan by each individual tenant. In such circumstance it is generally appropriate for the Developer and Site Management Company to develop a ‘top down’ approach to the Travel Plan (as described above).2.9. International Travel Plans and fiscal incentivesIn other countries, a whole regulatory framework governs how businessesdeal with getting their employees to work. In the USA, some State/Provincial,regional and local jurisdictions mandate so-called Commute Trip Reduction(CTR) programs for certain types of employers. Many transportation planningand transit agencies provided support for CTR programs, in a similar fashionto UK local authorities. Where a business or developer implements a CTRprogram it is possible that reduced parking requirements will be required.According to Comsis Corporations (1993) & Winter and Rudge (1995), acomprehensive CTR program can reduce peak-period vehicular trips by asmuch as 10-30% at a work location. This can also be verified by workundertaken in the UK by Cairns et al in 2010. In Cairns’ study, 20organisations that had implemented Travel Plans found that various measuresused by employers to encourage employees out of their cars resulted in anoverall reduction in the number of cars being driven to work of 14 per 100 staff.Compared with the UK approach, the USA requires Travel Plans from virtuallyall employers in places where congestion and traffic pollution are a majorproblem. However, it has been argued that this overarching regulation has notresulted in Travel Plans being seen as a benefit; rather an additional cost(Enoch et al, 2003). In many European countries, governments have beenworking to reduce the financial burden of Travel Plans. In Norway, Germanyand Belgium the tax system has been used to incentivise more sustainablemodes relative to less sustainable modes of travel. In the UK, a similar systemhas been introduced whereby no tax or National Insurance Contributions arerequired, this includes (HMRC, 2012):  Free or subsidised work buses;  Subsidies to public bus services;  Cycle and safety equipment made available for employees; and  Workplace parking for cycles and motorcycles. 14
  • Although these changes to the UK tax system can be seen as a step in theright direction, they do not currently go as far as other European countrieswho have provided additional positive incentives to encourage staff to altertheir travel behaviour. In order to demonstrate the benefit of the above tax‘incentives’ it has been proposed that companies could complete an audit oftheir travel costs to demonstrate the financial benefit for adoption of a TravelPlan. As it stands currently the UK government has failed to use its taxsystem to provide any form of kick-start incentive to individuals or commercialorganisations (Enoch et al, 2003).Public institutions have so far led the way, but for widespread success as apolicy tool, Travel Plans also need to be adopted by private sector employers.Local Authorities have been working to build links and produce guidelines andoffering advice, however the vast majority of private sector employers do nothave a Travel Plan in place and the vast majority still probably do not evenunderstand the term or the implied concept (Coleman, 2000, p139-148). Astudy by T. Rye et al (2011) found that the guidance available to firms lookingto implement a Travel Plan was excellent. However, the dissemination ofguidance and the subsequent development amongst Local Authority officeshas been piecemeal. T. Rye et al suggested that more active disseminationand training strategies, to include proactive communication and workshopsled by planners who have successfully used the guidance are required ifTravel Plans are to be successfully introduced on a wider scale.2.10. Corporate social responsibilitiesSince the Labour Government’s White Paper on transport policy waspublished in 1998, the aim has been to increase the widespread voluntarytake-up of Travel Plans. However, even though many public sectororganisations have now adopted Travel Plans, any policy mechanism toencourage voluntary take-up in the private sector has so far been relativelylow-key (Enoch et al, 2003). The current half-hearted approach to travelplanning is sending contradictory signals to businesses. Where the existingsystem does work, is getting Travel Plans onto a businesses’ agenda throughplanning consent regulation, but in these situations it could be argued that thisis seen as a cost and not as something that businesses should undertake aspart of their normal practice. As a general consensus transport will never bethe core concern of the majority of employers, and so the currentinformational instruments that dominate UK policies are unlikely to beeffective, unless they are supported by additional measures, such as a mix ofplanning regulation and fiscal incentives or penalties for non-participation(Enonch et al, 2003).Although progress has been made in improving the travel planning processfollowing the introducing of NPPF, the number of private businessesimplementing and fore filling their obligations, either as part of a planningapplication or on a voluntary basis is still small. A study by T. Rye (2002,p287-298) concludes that the central reasons for non-implementation ofTravel Plans in private businesses can be put down to the following: 15
  •  Private sector businesses feel little need to lead by example, the main role of a company is to make profit and as such there is perceived to be no financial gain in implementing a Travel Plan;  Employees travel to work does not specifically present an employer with any problems in terms of the functioning of the business;  Often a business does not perceive any issue with transport or parking at or close to their site; and  There is insufficient evidence to prove that a Travel Plan of a given nature can generate a modal shift of a certain percentage and therefore there is no evidence to prove that spending any money would improve the situation locally.In order to encourage the take up of Travel Plans and improve compliance,Enoch, et al (2003) identified four mechanisms targeted at the commercialsector to encourage their staff to commute in a ‘greener’ way: 1. Information and exhortation; 2. Regulation; 3. Subsidies; and 4. Fiscal incentives and/or penalties.At the same time as considering the four mechanisms identified by Enoch etal, a business also needs to become an active instigator in linking the long-term benefits a Travel Plan can bring to the business, rather than planning forthe short-term factors (Roby, 2010). In order to introduce the sustainablefuture concept, it is as much about changing policies to shift values as it isabout changing practices. (Palmer, 1990). In the last two decades we haveseen an increased awareness of ‘social responsibility’ within society, resultingin many companies reviewing the way their businesses operate. Kolk (2008,pp.1-15) in her study of multinational businesses sees a growing demand fortransparency surrounding corporate behaviour. This has seen a movetowards incorporating ethical and social issues within the traditionally financialaspects of corporate reporting, and has become known as either ‘corporatesocial responsibility’ or ‘triple bottom line reports’. Elkington (1999, p.24) talksfurther about the triple bottom line and how its purpose is to challenge andrevolutionise how companies think and act. It is also about educating andchanging the views of stakeholders and ensuring businesses improve theiraccountability. This is a move away from the traditional belief that businessessole responsibility is concerned with only maximising profit.However Milton Friedmen (1970) argues that businesses are not humanbeings and cannot assume true moral responsibility for their actions; his beliefis that society’s best interests for achieving change lies with governments, notmanagers. Friedmen also argues that the current lack of legally bindingobligations for a business to tackle commuter trip reduction is a major issue,which causes confusion and prolongs ignorance amongst businesses as towhere their responsibilities lie. Wood and Ivens (1997, pp. 101-113) havestudied these ideas further and in their research found that problems often 16
  • seen as social responsibilities will on inspection turn out to be politicalresponsibilities, which the politicians are blind to, or afraid to tackle.The problem with Travel Plans is unfortunately not confined to the need toincrease the take-up of voluntary Travel Plans. In the UK, the issue of‘greenwashing’ has developed. This is the process whereby a developerproduces an impressive list of ‘environmentally friendly’ proposals, but thenfails to implement them either effectively, or in the worst cases, at all. This isexacerbated further as a local authority can only serve the developer with a‘breach of conditions notice’ and hope they comply. If funding has beensecured through an obligation it is possible to enforce, but only through aquasi-court. T. Rye et al (2011) highlighted that even when a developer hasnot met one or more of their obligations, any challenge from a local authoritycould be counter challenged by a developer on the basis that they have doneeverything in their power to do so, and thus not acted unreasonably. Such anargument could undermine the basis of planning obligations and the use ofmonetary penalties for non-achievement of any associated targets. T. Rye’sstudy of local authorities that have taken enforcement action against a breachof Travel Plan conditions or obligations would appear to back-up this theory,with only four local authorities admitting to having begun proceedings againsta developer. The survey also asked authorities how they would enforceplanning conditions. 32 said they were not sure, whilst 54 did not answer thequestion.Looking to the future, some progress has been made with businessesdeveloping their own reports due to demand from stakeholders, shareholdersand consumers, rather than in response to any direct government policy. Inorder to further enhance these changes, businesses will need to increasinglydevelop and implement zero emission activities linked to overarchingbusiness change - this will help Travel Plans become embedded in the widerbusiness as a support measure of business planning - as opposed to aseparate business objective (Roby, 2010). Holbeche (2001) describesbusiness culture as something that results from a learning process ofinteraction, actions and processes built up on commonly accepted behaviours.Schein’s (1997) model of business culture places an emphasis on creating asupportive culture for the development of social responsibility in a concordantand non-contradictory way.In a study conducted by Coleman (2000, p139-148), he identified that theissue of understanding the term Travel Plan as an implied concept is stillholding back their widespread implementation. In a survey of businesses,around 38% indicated that public transport alternatives were important factorsin enabling modal shift to be successful. 37% felt further central Governmentlegislation was required, whilst 35% indicated that tax incentives would beneeded before they took any action. Improved advice and information, alongwith business rate discounts and financial support were also seen asimportant (20%). As a result, Coleman suggested the following improvementsto increase participation in Travel Plans:  Continued awareness raising of the term and concepts of Travel Plans is needed; 17
  •  Widespread implementation of Travel Plans will be unlikely unless national legislation required it;  Targeting large businesses in urban/suburban location; and  If smaller businesses are to be targeted they should be looked at on an area basis rather than on an individual basis so that resources can be pooled.Where Travel Plans have been introduced as part of a wider change towardscorporate social responsibility, businesses will ultimately be the primarybeneficiaries of a healthier and more prosperous environment. Taking apositive stance at this time can only improve the performance and position ofa company through increased transparency and greater accountability. Asuccessful business in Romme’s (1992, pp. 11-24) view will be theenterprising one that develops a range of measures and implements widerorganisational change. This can then be used to deploy skills learned in thepast to capitalise on the opportunities of the future, whilst meeting obligationsto the environment. Corporate responsibilities are increasingly becoming aselling point for a company’s image; with the labelling of ‘socially responsiblecompanies’ it is likely we will continue to see a shift where-by certainbusinesses become an active instigator of sustainable development, meetingGovernments plans to increase the voluntary take-up of Travel Plans. On thereverse of this positive change, many firms are however still failing to makethis adjustment. Without a move to a planning system, which is moreproactive, simple and legally binding, Travel Plans are unlikely to producemore sustainable patterns of commuting in the foreseeable future.2.11. ConclusionFrom the literature that has been reviewed and researched, it is clear thatTravel Plans are continuing to evolve, with competing pressures from global,national, and local policies still needing to be balanced to ensure the guidancereleased to Travel Plan developers is both concise and workable. The UK hascontinued to see the development of Travel Plans at a more local level, withthe introduction and use of travel management software (iTRACE), car-pooling, offering on-site bicycles, and ecological driver training. Howeverfurther development is still needed to link the process of planning, regulationand controlling of travel within a development, or business, including how aTravel Plan can be interconnected with the internal organisational goals of abusiness.Helen Roby’s (LTT Issue 498 10 July, 2008) research demonstrated thatTravel Plans are evolving on the basis of more localised agendas. This hasseen some highway authorities, namely TfL (2012) demonstrating the needfor Travel Plans to be linked into internal organisational goals, as opposed tojust addressing an external regulatory agenda as per the national DfTguidelines: 18
  • DfT (national)“A package of measures aimed at promoting sustainable travel within anorganisation, with an emphasis on reducing reliance on single occupancy cartravel.”TfL (local)“Travel planning is an effective business management tool which can be usedto generate cost savings, lending companies a competitive advantage, andwhich has additional benefits for the environment and the health ofemployers.”Unfortunately even after the introduction of the latest planning policy guidance(NPPF), it could be argued that an even stronger central government guide isrequired to steer developers and incentivise companies through fiscal meansto embrace the introduction of Travel Plans within a development ororganisation. The current situation surrounding the monitoring of Travel Plansis arguably farcical, making it virtually impossible for local authorities to provein court that a site occupier has not fulfilled their obligations. This situation notonly undermines the real purpose of Travel Plans, but also hinders their futuredevelopment; not only at a planning level, but also at a voluntary level. Theneed for further change and a more consistent approach by local authoritiesacross the UK has never been more important if we are to see any long-termbenefit from Travel Plans.As a result of the literature review and what I see to be the associated ‘gaps’that currently exists within the travel planning world, this study will look tounderstand in greater detail how individual businesses and organisationshave been dealing with their existing Travel Plan and then asking what theyfeel is required from both the national and local levels of government in orderto support the future of Travel Plans. 19
  • 3. Methodology3.1. IntroductionIn this chapter the chosen approach to this study’s methodology will bedescribed. It will look at the reasons behind the choice of topic, and how thestudy has been designed to ensure the importance of looking at Travel Plansacross the different geographical scales is not lost. It will also detail how theresearch will be undertaken and then analysed to understand how the datacollected can be best used to answer the aims of the study.3.2. Choice of topicThe choice of topic has been based around my previous experience withTravel Plans and my determination to understand why most Travel Plans inexistence today are seen as a ‘box-ticking’ exercise to obtain planningpermission, as opposed to a long-term solution designed to tackle increasinglevels of personal mobility. What makes this topic more interesting is theglobal nature of the umbrella term ‘sustainability’, and the many differentareas it is now seen to encompass, including: social, economic, andenvironmental factors. The focus on local and corporate social responsibilityin this study has come about through my undergraduate studies. During myfirst degree I spent a great deal of time investigating the changing issues ofcorporate social responsibility, for this reason I wanted to look again at howthings have continued to develop at the more local level and to see if morerecent changes in government policy have brought about an increase, or evena potential decrease in the long-term success of travel planning.3.3. Study designThe methods of research for this study were initially proposed in the StudyPlan, which was prepared in May 2012. This identified the need to address anumber of concerns relating to Travel Plans, for this reason the focus hasbeen on three different levels: national, local, and corporate. Particularattention has been paid to the corporate level and contact has been madewith a number of businesses through Kent County Council’s iTRACEdatabase of Travel Plans. These contacts will be used to better understandhow businesses setup their Travel Plan and the day-to-day requirements itplaces upon them. In order to answer the aims of this study, both qualitativeand quantitative data will be collected from businesses that have introduced aTravel Plan. This will be supplemented with additional interviews conductedwith employees of Kent County Council’s Planning and Sustainable TransportTeam to better understand the local issues of implementing Travel Plansusing past and current national policies.To bring the local studies into context, this study has also been supplementedwith information on planning policy and national guidance on Travel Plans. Inthe study design, both national and local inputs have been broken down todemonstrate how fragmented the current guidance is. The study has also 20
  • been designed to take account of all the different geographical scales needingto be addressed, working from the national to the local level.Figure 01 - The research process (Bryman 2008).Figure 01 illustrates the key stages that will be followed when conductingresearch. In this study both types of data will be collected, the qualitative datawill bring a greater depth of understanding in relation to Travel Plans alreadyin operation. The use of qualitative methods has become an increasinglyimportant element of research and together with secondary data can result invalid pieces of research being produced (Marshall and Rossman 2010). 21
  • 3.4. Qualitative dataOne of the aims of this study is to gain a better understanding of Travel Plansat the local level. The use of qualitative data will support development of localunderstanding. It is at this very local context that one is able to ascertainfeelings and attitudes towards Travel Plans and wider corporate socialresponsibilities. It will also be possible to further examine the initial responsesprovided through the online survey. Herbert (2000, p.550), describes thebenefits of using more qualitative methods to gain insight into people’sanxieties and feelings, which are well suited to ethnographic enquiries:“Humans create their social and spatial worlds through processes that aresymbolically encoded and thus made meaningful. Through enacting thesemeaningful processes, human agents reproduce and challenge macroecological structures in the everyday of place-bound action. Becauseethnography provides singular insight into these processes and meaning, itcan most brightly illuminate the relationships between structure, agency andgeographical context.”To provide a greater understanding of how Travel Plans operate at the locallevel, telephone interviews will be conducted with respondents who hadindicated as part of the initial online survey that they would be happy to takepart in a follow-up interview. These will be designed to generate a greaterdepth of understanding about respondents’ specific experiences and thoughts.As such, a semi-structured approach will be used. The themes eachtelephone interview will concentrate on are:  Responsibility for the Travel Plan (at creation, implementation and monitoring);  Measures implemented;  Overall success;  Any difficulties encountered;  Interaction with KCC; and  What could be done to improve the Travel Plan process? 22
  • The organisations that have agreed to take part in the follow-up interviewsinclude:Table 01 - Follow-up interview sites. Site Business Type Type Location Respondent One Highway engineering Private Business park Sustainable team Two Property management Private Business park Park manager Three Retail development Private Business park Consultant Four Supermarket Private City Centre Consultant Five Education Public Multiple locations Sustainability coordinator Travel Plan coordinator Six Higher education Public Multiple locations and parking managerFurthermore, the study focuses on Kent County Council and their Planningand Sustainable Transport Teams. By conducting interviews with KCCemployees it will be possible to see the work being undertaken acrossnumerous departments, and with district and borough partners to promoteTravel Plans across Kent. This includes working to tighten up plans requiredas part of planning permission, and also voluntary Travel Plans that requirefurther outreach to the wider business community. By conducting interviews atthis level of local government, it is also possible to gather feedback on currentnational initiatives and any ideas or suggestions that might be employed byKent to enhance and extend Travel Plans to the widest possible audience.Through the use of qualitative data, it is anticipated the research available todraw a conclusion to the study will be much more detailed and bring apersonal understanding from a range of different perspectives andgeographical scales. The data has been collected from a wide range ofsources including: structured qualitative telephone interviews; and face-to-face meetings. These findings will be used to back-up and challenge the morestatistical findings from the quantitative data.3.5. Quantitative dataThis study has sought to collect quantitative modes of data in order to enablethe use of mathematical modelling and statistical analysis techniques. Thesehave been set within the wider context of this study to ensure they are ofinterest and come to life, adding authority to the argument, rather thananalysis for the sake of it.The data collected will come from contacts stored by Kent County Council aspart of their iTRACE software, which manages Travel Plans within the County.This includes the contact details for either the site coordinator or the managerof the site who is creating the Travel Plan. A survey link will be sent to the listof contacts held on the iTRACE software, requesting their response abouttheir experiences with their site Travel Plan. For the majority this will be sent 23
  • via email, with letters and phone calls to the remainder for whom no contactemail address is available.In designing the online survey particular attention will be paid to five key areas,including: 1. ‘Creation’ of the Travel Plan, comprising of the reasons why the Plan was developed and the key features implemented. 2. ‘Implementation’. This included questions on the actions carried out, as well as any problem, or parts that had not been implemented. 3. ‘Reviewing’. This is seen as important as initial research suggested that very little updating of Plans was being undertaken, the purpose of this questions was to ascertain if this was the case, and if so why. 4. ‘Engagement with other organisations’ was designed to see how much involvement third parties had from inception through to completion. 5. ‘Success of the Travel Plan’, or the reasons why it might not have been successful.In addition to these main sections, questions will also be asked to gageawareness of current marketing tools being used by KCC to promote NewWays 2 Work and car sharing.The use of quantitative data is an important aspect to this study. It will beintegrated with other data collected to examine the difference between theonline survey and telephone interviews. By having localised data, from arange of different businesses, it will be possible to understand more about thedevelopment and day-to-day operations of a Travel Plan.3.6. Data analysisIn order to process and analyse the data collected in the most appropriateway for this study, all of the findings will be presented in a simple format. Theidea is not to produce overly confusing statistics, but to use graphs that showthe results, and allow for a comparison between businesses. Where it ispossible to obtain a statistically significant result, this will be included withinthe results & analysis chapter. By doing this it will be possible to answer themain aims of the study, whilst allowing for a comparison to be made betweenthe different findings. By writing up the structured telephone interviewsundertaken with businesses and Kent County Council, it will be possible totake the salient points from each to see if there is any link between the two.The data and any findings can then be used to form the conclusion of thestudy. By bringing together the qualitative and quantitative research the studywill have a range of crosscutting data to help answer the study aims.3.7. Ethical considerations and data protectionPrior to conducting any form of primary research, the University ofWestminster’s Code of Practice Governing the Ethical Conduct of Research2011/2012 was read to ensure that due consideration was given to thepotential ethical implications of any such research. It was decided that theprimary data collected for this piece of research fell under ‘class one’ of the 24
  • code of practice, due to it having minimal, or no ethical implications. As aresult no prior approval is required.All respondents invited to take part in the survey will be invited to do soanonymously.3.8. ConclusionTo summarise, this study will focus on organisations who have alreadyintroduced a Travel Plan in the county of Kent. This data will be supplementedby further follow-up telephone interviews with those organisations who arewilling to provided further information. Interviews will also be conducted withkey employees at Kent County Council. The in-depth interviews will be usedto understand the current constraints surrounding Travel Plans, and whatchanges need to be made at either, or both a national or local level to enableorganisations to comply with travel planning obligations. 25
  • 4. Results & analysisThis chapter will compile results that have been collected and attempt toanalyse them in order to answer the questions posed by the aims of this study.The three main areas covered by the results include: 1. Online survey; 2. In-depth telephone interviews; and 3. Kent County Council interviews.4.1. Online survey responsesThe online survey was devised to assist with answering the following aims:  To research how organisations are managing their Travel Plans;  To identify constraints within the travel planning process; and  To establish how Travel Plans can be improved.Through accessing the Kent County Council iTRACE database, it waspossible to attempt to make contact with a total of 253 organisations recordedas having implemented Travel Plans.Table 02 demonstrates the district breakdown, and the public / private sectorsplit. In total, 129 recorded Travel Plans were found to be un-contactable,due mainly to out-of-date information, or a lack of any contact detail providedfrom the outset. It has been assumed that the remaining 124 contacts weresuccessfully contacted, however 31 responses to the online survey in totalwere received (Table 03); although only 24 of these were fully complete. Thisgave the online survey a response rate of 25%. This chapter will thereforepresent and analyse responses to the main questions asked within the surveywhilst full results are available to view in Appendix A, along with the originalresponses.Table 02 - KCC iTRACE database breakdown.District Public Private TotalAshford 3 56 59Canterbury 7 8 15Dartford 4 4 8Dover 3 6 9Gravesend 1 1 2Maidstone 8 22 30Sevenoaks 1 11 12Shepway 1 7 8Swale 1 13 14Thanet 2 13 15Tonbridge & Malling 5 53 58Tunbridge Wells 5 18 23Total 41 212 253 26
  • Table 03 - Online survey response breakdown. Public Private Unknown Total 7 14 10 314.2. Creation“Does anyone in your organisation have Travel Plan responsibilities as part oftheir job role?”Figure 02 - Online survey responsibility responses.In response to this question, 7 out of 13 organisations acknowledged that theydid have a lead member of staff who managed their Travel Plan as part oftheir job role (Figure 02). Generally this was someone who was asustainability manager, or coordinator, but responses also indicated thatsenior managers had been selected to ensure someone within a morestrategic role managed their Travel Plan. Responses were also received fromindividuals who had taken on the role as a result of a personal interest. Whilstthis result indicates a more positive perspective of Travel Plan management, itis important to acknowledge the study by Rye and MacLeod (1998) whichrecognised that employers must believe that there is a transport problem,which impacts upon their site and in addition to this, that they have aresponsibility to solve it before they are likely to develop a greater form ofownership and accountability. The 42% that had no one responsible for theirTravel Plan arguably still require further education to reinforce the importantrole a Travel Plan coordinate has to play, despite having been through theprocess. From the data collected it would seem that some organisations haverecognised the potential a properly managed Travel Plan can bring. Where anexternal consultant is included within the mix the role of the Travel Plancoordinator seems to be much less focused, with less understanding anddrive to ensure the Travel Plan meets its commitments. 27
  • Figure 03 - Online survey ‘why’ responses.It was deemed important to drill down into the background and understandwhy an organisation originally created their Travel Plan. Question 4 (“Why didyour organisation develop a Travel Plan?”) of the survey provided a range ofoptions, including: planning condition, corporate agenda, cost savings andothers (Figure 03). As anticipated the majority of the responses received werefrom those who had a planning condition, or agreement that required a TravelPlan as part of a planning application. Those who responded with ‘others’provided a surprisingly clear understanding of a number of other importantareas linked to Travel Plans. This contradicts Coleman’s observation in hisstudy (2000), which found a lack of understanding of the term was one of themain reasons for holding back the wider introduction of Travel Plans.The responses received showed a higher level of understanding, evenbeyond what a ‘standard’ Travel Plan might look to achieve. This includedorganisations trying to develop, or enhance their own green corporate agenda.Other responses identified the issues of parking, traffic congestion and eventhe need to reduce travel costs. One response went as far as to highlight thatthey had developed a Travel Plan to “aid occupiers of their site” (Appendix A -Online survey responses).Whilst the results of this question are interesting and relevant, for thoserespondents who created a Travel Plan for reasons other than simply tocomply with planning, in hindsight it would have been interesting to ask afollow on question related to the relative level of success a Travel Plan had inassisting the organisation to achieve their primary objective. For those simplyfulfilling planning requirements, it would also have been interesting to discoverif they have received any unexpected operational or other benefit from theTravel Plan. 28
  • Figure 04 - Online survey key features responses.To understand more about the level of commitment each organisation hadmade to travel planning, respondents were also asked to identify the keyfeatures that had been implemented (Figure 04). The suggestions list includedeverything from a ‘do minimum approach’ e.g. providing public transportinformation, through to a more proactive organsiation who may have chosento subsidise staff travel, or enhance their office facilities to help facilitatecycling to work.The results demonstrate that the vast majority of organisations introduced fourmain features, these included: information boards showing sustainabletransport options; car sharing; restricted, or priority parking; and enhancedfacilities (e.g. showers, changing facilities, lockers). Information boards aregenerally seen as a ‘do-minimum’ approach, whilst the creation of enhancedfacilities could generate increased modal shift. As a general rule none of theabove options can be seen to have a greater positive impact over one or other.Organsiations can provide enhanced facilities, but without successfulmarketing and a pro-active approach the ‘do-minimum’ option could have abigger impact than a poorly marketed priority-parking scheme. A large numberof respondents also selected ‘other’, these responses further highlighted anumber of increasingly pro-active responses to travel planning, includingCycle to Work schemes, eco-driver training, discussion and forum groups andincentivising staff through competitions. Given Kent County Council’s strongpromotion of websites like kentjourneyshare and the Cycle to Work scheme, itis not surprising that such a high number of responses singled out these 29
  • options as one of their key features. This response could in someway suggestthat the education methods adopted by KCC have resulted in some examplesof success.4.3. ImplementationIn addition to trying to understand more about the creation process, the onlinesurvey also focused on the implementation phase. This can often be astumbling block for an organisation, especially when the Travel Plan has beenwritten on the basis of a wish list, rather than something that is affordable andviable. This was addressed in the subsequent question, “What actions fromyour Travel Plan have been carried out?”. The responses received generallymirrored the answers recorded in Figure 04, suggesting the key featuresidentified within each organisations’ Travel Plan had been implemented.Figure 05 - Online survey problems responses.To gain additional insight into the implementation phase and to assist inanswering the aims of this study, the online survey was also developed withthe intention of understanding more about the problems faced when trying toimplement a Travel Plan (Figure 05). This question received a response from31 respondents, however only 7 identified having a problem during theimplementation stage. This was a significantly lower proportion than had beenanticipated given the results of studies by T. Rye (2002) and Coleman (2000),which clearly indicated a higher percentage of organisations struggling tosuccessfully implement their original Travel Plan commitments.Where an organisation identified a problem or problems they were asked toclarify what they saw as the main obstacles. The four key areas identifiedincluded:  Funding constraints;  Lack of interest; 30
  •  Time limitations; and  Poor existing public transport links.The above areas identified were seen to ultimately hamper trying to changeemployee attitudes.After trying to establish what actions had been carried out, the survey set outto understand the actions, or key features that had not been implemented.Given the sensitivity of such a question and the potential implications for anorganisation contravening a planning obligation, the question was designed tounderstand ‘why’, as opposed to ‘what’ had not been implemented (Figure 06).Figure 06 - Online survey implementation problem responses.Many of the constraining factors identified where more ‘typical’ of what mighthave been expected, for instance: time; and director sign-off. Unfortunately‘N/A’ received the largest number of responses, which is potentially significantgiven the sensitive nature of the question, and an organisation potentially notwanting to make light of the fact they are yet to implement certainrequirements.4.4. ReviewingA significant amount of any Travel Plan should be about monitoring andreviewing its performance. For this reason the survey included a section on‘reviewing’. The key purpose behind this was to understand how many 31
  • organisations continued to monitor their Travel Plan once it has been createdand implemented.Figure 07 - Online survey updating responses.The findings from this question demonstrated an even split between thosethat never updated their Travel Plan, verses those that updated their TravelPlan every 1-2 years (Figure 07). A much smaller number (5) responded withevery 2+ years, whilst only 2 organisations stated they updated their TravelPlan more than once a year.When asked what they did to update their Travel Plan, 2 organisationsclaimed to update their Travel Plan more than once a year, whilst 3organisations stated they carried out on going monitoring. Two organisationsdid make mention of linking their Travel Plan with their wider corporatestrategy. Where such organisations are linking a Travel Plan with theircorporate agenda, it is possible to create a powerful document capable ofdelivering real organisational change, especially if the Plan is correctlyimplemented and all aspects are followed through from start to end. Thesingle document can also be used to deploy skills learned in the past tocapitalise on the opportunities presented in the future, whilst in additionmeeting obligations to the environment (Romme, 1992). 32
  • Figure 08 - Online survey behavioural changes.As well as asking about how often an organisation updated their Travel Plan,the survey focused on the uptake of monitoring surveys following the initialimplementation. Interestingly, 55% of respondents reported that theirorganisation had undertaken follow-up reviews. As a consequence, a numberof travel behaviour changes had been identified (Figure 08). However, next tocar sharing the second most common answer was that there had been nochange to travel behaviour, with one respondent saying, “people are selfish asever” (Appendix A - Online survey results).4.5. EngagementFigure 09 - Online survey engagement responses. 33
  • To identify how improvements might be made, the survey asked questionsaround ‘engagement with other organisations’. This identified that an alarming67% of respondents did not make any contact with another organisation aspart of setting up their Travel Plan (Figure 09).Where respondents identified that contact had been made, it wasoverwhelmingly with either Kent County Council, or the district and boroughcouncils (58%). Other points of contact identified included consultancy firmsand other local businesses.4.6. SuccessFigure 10 - Online survey satisfaction responses.The most important part of this survey was to identify the perception of howsuccessful, or unsuccessful an organisation perceived their Travel Plan. 27organisations responded to this question, with the majority of respondents(37%) providing a neutral answer (Figure 10). 34
  • Figure 11 - Online survey successful / unsuccessful key points.To identify why a particular response was given, respondents were presentedwith either a ‘how has it been successful?’, or ‘why do you think it has notbeen successful?’ box.Overall respondents who deemed their Travel Plan a success described it asbeing most effective at implementing car sharing (73%) and improving theirsustainable image (65%). A further 27% of respondents also said that theTravel Plan had helped meet shareholder demand for corporate socialresponsibility. No one commented that it had reduced mileage claims,suggesting that the focus is on commuter journeys rather than businessmileage.A wide range of reasons were given for the ‘success’ of a respondent’s TravelPlan, with the most popular answer being “support from management”. Anencouraging 38% of respondents said that support from Kent County Councilwas a reason for their success. 27% of respondents felt employee motivationwas crucial. Other reasons given included the support of a consultant andcrossover with other corporate plans and their companies’ sustainabilityagenda.Those who felt their Travel Plan had not been a success provided a range ofresponses, with no one response giving a clear indication of a particularproblem. It did however highlight a series of on-going issues (Figure 11),including:  Time constraints;  Lack of staff;  Public transport cost; and  Availability of public transport. 35
  • Figure 12 - Online survey improvement responses.Finally, respondents were asked how they felt the travel planning processcould be improved. This received a number of suggestions (Figure 12),however it was clear that the general theme of the responses provided werefocused on the need for greater district and council input, along with greatercentral government policy - linked to enforcement and legislation. 2 responsesalso remarked on the importance of incorporating Travel Plans within acorporate strategy, as opposed to a stand-alone document.4.7. In-depth telephone interviewsAfter the survey responses were collated, the respondents who had indicatedthat they would be happy to take part in a follow-up telephone interview werecontacted. In-depth interviews were conducted to generate a greater depth ofunderstanding about their specific experiences and thoughts about theirTravel Plan. Before the interview, their questionnaire responses were studiedin greater detail, so as to tailor the questions appropriately. As such, a semi-structured approach was taken. The themes each telephone interviewconcentrated on were: 1. Responsibility for the Travel Plan (at creation, implementation and monitoring); 36
  • 2. Measures implemented; 3. Overall success; 4. Any difficulties encountered; 5. Interaction with KCC; and 6. What could be done to improve the Travel Plan process.In all, six follow-up telephone interviews were completed. Companies werecarefully chosen to ensure a cross-section of the initial online-survey wasfollowed-up. As a result, the following organisations in Table 04 wereinterviewed. (For the purposes of this study the company name andinterviewee’s details have been removed).Table 04 - Follow-up interview sites. Site Business Type Type Location RespondentOne Highway engineering Private Business park Sustainable teamTwo Property management Private Business park Park managerThree Retail development Private Business park ConsultantFour Supermarket Private City Centre ConsultantFive Education Public Multiple locations Sustainability coordinator Travel Plan coordinatorSix Higher education Public Multiple locations and parking managerGiven the nature of semi-structured interviews, key points have been pickedout from each response and categorised within the themes listed above. Fullcopies of the interview transcripts can be found in Appendix B. 37
  • 4.8. Response summary1. Responsibility for the Travel Plan (at creation, implementation and monitoring)Site OneTravel Plan responsibilities are linked to my job role as ‘SustainabilityManager’. I also manage the companies EMS (Energy Monitoring System).On taking over the role, no handover was conducted with my predecessor.Site TwoMy role as Park Manager includes, Travel Plan management, creation andimplementation. I Coordinate an overarching site Travel Plan for everycompany on the business park. It was originally created as a way for dealingwith heavy congestion.Site ThreeI was chosen as the coordinator because of my personal interest and positionwithin the organisation as a senior manager.Site FourThe Travel Plan was created by a consultancy firm for the purpose of a newstore planning application.Site FiveOur plan was created by a coordinator for the purpose of managing rising fuelprices and for understanding more about how people travel to the site.2. Measures implementedSite OneWe have introduced a Sustainability Action Plan with targets for the site and aplan to monitor progress. This is updated every January. In addition to this,an annual Business Travel Survey is undertaken to monitor how people travelto work and has been used to encourage more staff to car share. Training hasalso been provided to staff on how to use video conferencing facilities, whilstdriving styles are being monitored to look at fuel efficiency. Car shareschemes have also been employed, with an internal database for colleaguesto find people living near them to share with.Site TwoNothing at this stage, but the use of a parking management company to issueenforcement notices is being considered. Promotion of kentjourneyshare hasbeen undertaken, whilst Arriva had been contacted about subsidised busservices. It had originally been envisaged that a new bridge could beconstructed over the M25, avoiding the need for traffic to access jct 1A.Site ThreeInformation boards detailing travel options. 38
  • Site FourPost occupation survey and the installation of information boards.Site FiveUndertaken monitoring as part of the Carbon Trust scheme to reduce CO2.Site SixIntroduced restricted parking and exclusion zones for students. Subsidisedtransport use, with discounts available to staff and students. Additional busservices are also provided during the exam period. An online survey isregularly emailed out to staff and students to enable the monitoring ofprogress.3. Overall successSite ThreeNeutral - the car is key to our business, people do not share as they are oftenout of the office at certain points of the day. Some staff have othercommitments, such as children who require collecting, which makes carsharing impractical.Site FourWe intend to re-survey the site annually if it is agreed. I am unsure whathappens if the Travel Plan misses its targets, as I’ve never encountered thisproblem before.Site SixOur Travel Plan has achieved a 50% reduction in traffic travelling through thesite (difficult to enforce certain restrictions due to a public highway runningthrough the site).4. Any difficulties encounteredSite OnePublic transport is not a viable option for most due to the office location. Itwould also involve making multiple changes between buses and trains.Site TwoInitially everyone was keen to start up a focus group to tackle the issues.However, this was disbanded when it became clear that infrastructureimprovements were not being considered by KCC. The Highways Agencyalso failed to support our plans for improved signage on the M25 junction thatprovides access to the site. Bus services have also been cut following areview of passenger numbers.The biggest problem was a lack of support from companies to implementsustainable improvements. The original focus group stakeholders were onlyinterested in improvements designed to enhance access to the site by privatecar. It became clear to me that people do not understand what a green TravelPlan is about. More work is required to educate people on the alternatives to 39
  • the private car.An initial survey was conducted using KCC’s iTRACE system. The responserate was very low. No follow up has ever been undertaken.Site ThreeWe found iTRACE to be very clunky. Currently we use our Fire Book to loghow people got to work. We do not use the data we record to monitoranything.Site FourWe have no regular contact with the site coordinator to know how things areprogressing.Site FiveThe decision was taken that we could no longer afford to subsidise a free busservice from the town to the site. We choose not to encourage cycling due tothe lack of off-road facilities. We have issues with the functionality of iTRACEto monitor our Travel Plan. I have no long-term budget to support further work.My intention to introduce a working group to look at the long-term survival ofthe Travel Plan was halted by the University.Site SixOnline survey response rates have been very poor. Out of 18,000 emails,only 2 students responded. It was suggested at the time that this was due tothe timing of the email being sent.5. Interaction with KCCSite TwoKCC were proactive, but occupiers could not see a resolution to the problemof avoiding gridlock so lacked motivation.Site ThreeNot every local authority is proactive. From a consultancy perspective someauthorities have lost the plot and are abusive and obstructive. People need tobe encouraging and willing to make small changes. The main point of contactat Kent County Council is very good, but others in Kent have not been aspositive. Communication is key.Site FourI have had some involvement with KCC and the site coordinator (HRManager) in the store, but nothing further.Site FiveI approached KCC following a recommendation by someone else. 40
  • 6. What could be done to improve the Travel Plan process?Site TwoIt would be easier if legislation required individual companies to manage theirown Travel Plan. This should have specific requirements, e.g. “you must…..”,without this, people will not be put off from driving.Site ThreeTo improve the process the cost of fuel should be doubled so Travel Planswould not be needed. The car sharing website is ok, but there is a need toovercome concerns of sharing with a stranger. Travel Plans are overlyrestrictive on new developments in the current economic climate.One Travel Plan model will not fit all organisations. There should be less spinand more honesty. Educating people on alternative travel choices at a youngage could be one way to reduce the future reliance on the private car.Site SixNeed for greater awareness. E.g. road show services, eco- driving simulatorsetc. Companies promoting ‘Walk to Work Week’ and ‘Cycling Week’.It would be useful to have a catalogue / directory of useful contacts /companies that provide services for potential Travel Plan / Eco activities.4.9. In-depth telephone interview analysisOverall, it would seem that from the follow-up telephone interviews conducted,the main contact was either someone who had been allocated the job as partof their job role, or in the case of site three an individual identified as having apersonal interest in Travel Plans. It was disappointing to see that at site oneno formal handover was ever undertaken to ensure previous work could becontinued. In answering this question most only spoke about his or her owninvolvement, whilst no one raised the issue of on-going monitoring.The types of measures implemented varied greatly between responses. Somesites, such as one and six, had gone a long way to implementing a wide-range of measures. However, sites three, four and five introduced the veryminimum. Sites three and four in particular have a Travel Plan as a result of aplanning application, it is therefore disappointing to see that such a ‘do-minimum’ approach seems to have been required as part of their planningpermission - although this cannot be confirmed.When asked about the overall success of their Travel Plan, most werehesitant with their response. Those who did respond indicated that it had hada neutral impact, whilst one site was considering re-surveying; but was unsureof the impacts if they did not meet their targets. Site six did howeverdemonstrate that they had achieved a 50% drop in through traffic following theimplementation of their Travel Plan.Key to this study were the responses received relating to ‘problemsencountered’. In some instances the information provided related to local 41
  • issues, for instance the limitations of the public transport network to providecoverage to all areas of employment. However, site two in particular identifieda clear lack of understanding among the business residents about what aTravel Plan constitutes. For example a Travel Plan can involve someinfrastructure improvements, but these would not normally be related toimproving access for private motor vehicles. Another feedback point related tothe software provided by KCC for organisations to carry out travel surveys.The feedback received indicated that it was “clunky” and lacked the ability tomeet some requirements. Response rates to on-going monitoring surveyswere also highlighted as an issue, with site six identifying one survey that onlyreceived 2 responses from 18,000 emails. Contact between consultants whoprovided the original Travel Plan and the organisation that then operates theplan was also singled out as being poorly managed. In effect, the consultant isnot going to continue to manage and monitor a Travel Plan free of charge, thisthen relies on the site Travel Plan coordinator being proactive in theirapproach to update and monitor on going progress.Contact with Kent County Council has generally been positive, though it wasidentified by one site that they had been in contact with multiple contactswithin the authority, and that their experience had not necessary been aspositive. Overall it seemed clear to the respondents’ that Kent County Councilis able to assist them with their Travel Plan questions.In relation to Travel Plan improvements, the different sites provided a range offeedback. One site identified the need for legally binding legislation fromcentral Government to enforce Travel Plans. Others felt that Travel Planswere ineffective without further ‘stick’ type disincentives for driving; forexample increased fuel charges. What was clear across all responses wasthe need to personalise each Plan to meet the individual requirements of anorganisation. One Plan should not be designed to meet the requirements ofmany. Finally increased marketing of events was identified as a way toincrease participation and generate future interest from other individuals andorganisations.4.10. Kent County Council interviewsInterviews were undertaken with Kent County Council’s Sustainable TransportManager and a Senior Development Planner. The interviews were structuredaround subjective, opinion based questions and for the purpose of openness,the format was semi-structured, providing interviewees and the interviewerwith the opportunity to expand on certain questions.The main themes of the interviews included:  Legislation;  Increasing participation;  Linking Travel Plans to other internal organisation goals; and  Examples of Travel Plans in breach. 42
  • 4.11. Sustainable Transport Manager interview Do you feel current legislation regarding Travel Plans, developed as part of a planning application is sufficient to generate long term modal shift? Currently some plans have no connection with the end user and have simply been treated as a box-ticking exercise. Full Transport Assessments need to be undertaken to understand the impact on the highway. This could be achieved through further traffic counts to more accurately understand the impact a development could have on the local highway. What could promote longer-term change? Getting the infrastructure in place first e.g. cycle routes, electric charging points and correct development location. Monitoring needs to be minimised with larger sites being targeted. Automated monitoring could be introduced at larger sites. In addition to this, events such as New Ways 2 Work could be used to facilitate Travel Plans. Concerns have been raised about the level of training and proactive communication coming from local authorities. Are you aware of these issues or others causing problems with the development of Travel Plans? Time and resources are definitely a challenge. At the moment I do not have enough staff to be able to support all districts. Travel Plans require a top-down ‘champion’ to promote them. Communication issues have been around since the change within Highways, when the function was taken from districts and placed at county level. Districts and county often have different policies and objectives. Should any future legislation to enforce s.106s, or similar be more focused at the local level, or national? Bonds could be used to secure developments. It is important to remember that the viability of a site to a developer is going to decrease the more onerous a Travel Plan becomes. Important that as much red tape is removed. 43
  • Do you have any ideas for how to incentivise the uptake of Travel Plans, in particular voluntary Travel Plans? (E.g. tax incentives, greater local authority support etc) One particular area that needs to be highlighted further is that parking at work is often an employee perk. Parking spaces can cost an employer around £1k per annum.4.12. Senior Development Planner interview Do you feel current legislation regarding Travel Plans, developed as part of a planning application is sufficient to generate long term modal shift? Bigger sites need to be promoting a percentage shift change. TRICS should be used as a guide to provide targets to work towards. The key issue is highway capacity. Legislation needs to use bonds to levy a charge where a developer misses their target. Permanent counter loops and a yearly survey would assist with improved monitoring. Plans are still being produced that are too ‘textbook’. Issues are often very local and not one size fits all. No independent checking. Could a developer be reporting what a local authority wants to hear? What could promote longer-term change? Penalties and more upfront costs to the developer should be considered. Where a site is large enough, this should be linked to their Master Plan. Targets should be locked down at the different phases, as opposed to a whole development plan. There should be an agreement to meet mode targets. Network performance needs to be understood. Enforcement should sit with the local authorities and not the Highway Authority. Too many bodies make it difficult to enforce. 44
  • Concerns have been raised about the level of training and proactivecommunication coming from local authorities. Are you aware ofthese issues, or others causing problems with the development ofTravel Plans?The introduction of Transport Assessment checklists will make it easier tointroduce a Travel Plan. Need more measured outcomes.Still too many mixed messages being released.Conditions should be checked to ensure that they are tied in as much aspossible to the Transport Assessment.Should any future legislation to enforce s.106s, or similar be morefocused at the local level, or national?A more local approach should be taken, but this needs to be consolidatedto avoid the upper-lower tier authority problem.Do you have any ideas for how to incentivise the uptake of TravelPlans, in particular voluntary Travel Plans? (E.g. tax incentives,greater local authority support etc.)There is always going to be issues over location and accessibility. Siteswill also become unviable if the demands placed upon them areexcessive.Brownfield sites that are not viable should be stopped in the early stages.Bus operators should be challenged on the price quoted to increaseservices. Who checks the level of contribution and how much does itreally cost to run a bus service?More should be made of expanding existing bus routes, as opposed to atotally new service.Bus operators should be challenged on what they can provide to ensurevalue for money.Are you aware of any Travel Plans that are in breach of their legalagreement?Yes.What action was taken?The local planning authority wrote to the occupier to remind them of theircommitment to meet the Travel Plan Framework that governed thatparticular site. 45
  • 4.13. ConclusionOverall the online survey met the original aims set out in 4.1, and those linkedto the wider study objectives. The response rate obtained was reasonable,although it fails to give a complete picture of the current situation in Kent.The main points that can be taken from the online survey include:  The need for improvements in the long-term management and monitoring;  Constraining factors include: time; internal signoff; and geographical location; and  Long-term improvement suggestions included: greater local authority support; central government legislation; and a push to incorporate Travel Plans within wider corporate strategies.The in-depth telephone interviews have helped to expand understanding ofthe current situation in Kent. The semi-structured approach overcame some ofthe closed question limitations found within the initial online survey.The main points that can be taken from the in-depth telephone interviewsinclude:  Lack of understanding surrounding the travel planning process;  The need for a dedicated site Travel Plan coordinator;  The majority of sites have approached travel planning with a ‘do minimum’ attitude;  Limited meaningful monitoring and poor response rates;  Kent County Council’s travel planning software iTRACE was poorly received;  Poor communication between consultants and site coordinators;  Issues of consistency when communicating with local authority contacts;  Need for stronger enforcement and incentives, including greater central government control and fiscal benefits;  Further disincentives to reduce the use of the private car; and  Increasing outreach, including events and marketing are required.The Kent County Council interviews were designed around a number ofthemes. These were designed to extract more specific information aboutlegislation and their unique experiences of working with ‘live’ Travel Plans,both positive and negative. 46
  • The main points that can be taken from the interviews include:  The current disconnected between Travel Plans and the end-user needs to be removed (box-ticking exercise);  Greater knowledge is needed to understand the impact of a site on the highway (Full Transport Assessments);  Installing infrastructure prior to a Travel Plan needs to be the norm, including the automated monitoring of traffic;  Effective resourcing of staff to support Travel Plans;  Clear lines of communication, upper and local tier authority responsibilities;  Introduction of bonds to secure developments and levy missed targets;  Bespoke plans, as opposed to a one size fits all approach;  Independent body checking site progress;  Greater use of upfront costs and penalties, with requirements tied to each phase of a development;  Linking Travel Plans to Master Plans and wider corporate strategies;  Stopping development in unsuitable locations, including brownfield sites; and  Challenging public transport operators pricing to ensure value for money. 47
  • 5. Conclusion5.1. IntroductionThe main objectives of this study were: 1. To explain the origins of Travel Plans; 2. To identify past and present policies relating to Travel Plans; 3. To investigate how KCC manages the Travel Plan process; 4. To research how companies are managing their Travel Plans; 5. To identify constraints within the travel planning process; and 6. To establish how Travel Plans can be improved.The study focused on three key areas of research in order to help answerthese aims. These included; an online survey targeting organisations withTravel Plans in Kent; follow-up, in-depth telephone interviews with a carefullyselected number of Travel Plan sites; and two key interviews with contacts atKent County Council.The literature review focused on addressing the many conceptual debatesand examinations surrounding Travel Plans, whilst introducing theoverarching theoretical foundations; Agenda21 and sustainability. It alsosought to explain the background to Travel Plans and the current national andlocal policies, which support and guide their development. In an attempt tofocus the literature review on more recent developments, time was spentexamining a range of international examples, along with a growing trend byinternational governments on a national and local scale to introduce fiscalincentivises to promote Travel Plans. Finally, the key issues surroundingcorporate social responsibilities were examined to see how organisationswere managing their own responsibilities.The wealth of academic commentary and practical studies discussed in theliterature review has provided a foundation for establishing the aims of thestudy, planning the practical elements and indeed reviewing the results.Transitioning from the abstract origins of Travel Plans, through tounderstanding how companies manage their Plans, the study has tried toestablish how the Travel Plan process might be improved, both from a KCCperspective, and most likely on a national policy basis too. However, thepriority for this study has been to understand the needs of Travel Plan users,as opposed to focusing solely on national policies and theoretical approaches.5.2. To explain the origins of Travel PlansTravel Plans have come a significant way since the original action plan of theUnited Nations first produced at the UNCED in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Theplan created an agenda that has started to slowly unite everyone (Lele, 1991),whilst raising the profile of the environmental challenges that humankind willcontinue to face. In response to this heightened awareness, manygovernments and local authorities sought to develop strategies to tackle theissues head on. Much of this development has been uneven however, with 48
  • varying success as a result of local strategic selectivity (Patterson & Theobald,1996).One of outcomes of the attempt to tackle the issues raised in Rio in 1992 wasthe introduction of Travel Plans. This however failed to feature in any nationalplanning guidance in the UK until PPG13 some nine years later in 2001.Travel Plans are designed to solve a very local problem, which is often site orarea specific; generally relating to congestion or a parking shortage(Bradshaw, 2001). As an example, Kent County Council has recorded inexcess of 260 Travel Plans. As successive Governments have come andgone over the past ten years, Travel Plans have remained a key tool in theattempt to create awareness and change how people travel. The full impact ofTravel Plans on changing travel patterns has to be viewed with caution. Roby(2010) succinctly sums up a typical view of Travel Plans; often overlyburdensome, with few outcomes ever enforced. It remains to be seen if therecently updated planning policy (NPPF) will turnaround the current negativestereotype of Travel Plans. In my view, from the data collected as part of thisstudy, most organisations had some understanding of why Travel Plans werenecessary. However they failed to grasp the often complex and bureaucraticprocesses surrounding their introduction and benefit. At present organisationshave no incentive to proactively introduce a Travel Plan that produces results.The current focus has been diluted, so the approach to Travel Plans is neithertop-down, nor bottom-up. In my view a more top-down approach is longoverdue and unless a stronger grasp is taken by central government tointroduce a workable policy, Travel Plans will continue to be perceived asanother bureaucratic government idea, ill afforded in a time of significantbudget deficit and economic hardship.5.3. To identify past and present policies relating to Travel PlansBond and Brooks (1997) identified that in order to implement a sustainableapproach to planning, it is essential to have both strong national and localpolicies. This includes having sufficient guidance to support the successfulintroduction of Travel Plans and to maintain their longevity. Through reviewinga range of relevant literature, it has been possible to identify a number of keypolicies over the past decade that have either been introduced to directly, orin-directly support Travel Plans. In 1998 the then Labour Governmentintroduced a White Paper on transport policy - ‘A New Deal for Transport:Better for Everyone’. This promoted the introduction of voluntary Travel Plansand intended to decrease dependency on the private car. Following this in1999 the Transport Bill provided a number of legal frameworks to enablemeasures to be introduced that supported travel planning, this includedoptions such as work place parking charges. However, it still remains to beseen if such measures will have any effect at reducing congestion andcreating modal shift towards public transport (BBC News, 2012). Althoughnone of the organisations questioned had implemented measures such aswork place charging, it was clear that even basic travel reduction measuresand monitoring were missing from some Travel Plans. In my view this gives aclear indication that most organisations would not be in a position toimplement further, more advanced travel reduction measures without 49
  • considerable assistance from either the local authority, or a not for profitorganisation.Presently in the UK, an organisation is only required to produce a Travel Planas a result of a planning application, this in turn is managed by each localplanning authority. With the introduction of PPG13 in 2001, local authoritieswere encouraged to take up targets for the adoption of Travel Plans, whilstembracing their own plan to set an example for others to follow. Notably, inthe case of Kent County Council, no Travel Plan has ever been produced forthe organisation as a whole. The position taken by the Council fails to set aprecedent for others to follow, and acts as a hindrance to Council staff whenthey are trying to promote and call for certain requirements from others.In 2012 the current Coalition Government introduced ‘The National PlanningPolicy Framework’, this attempted to reduce the fragmented standards andpolicies that had been introduced under PPG13, and produce a singledocument. It also reinforced the fact that sustainable development is centralto a number of areas, including: economic, environmental and social successof the county. In order to deliver the new standards set out within NPPF localauthorities are required to produce Local Development Frameworks (LDFs), inthe case of Kent this is managed by the lower tier authorities who eachproduce a document for their own district, or borough. In my view somedistricts play a more active role in promoting Travel Plans, this is often atlocations where greater development has been seen, for example Ashford,which has been designated as a key growth area in the South East. Otherlower tier authorities that rarely see large-scale developments are less likelyto have the experience and knowledge required to make the most of whatTravel Plans have to offer. It is therefore important that any national and localtransport priorities are conveyed within the LDFs, as it is recommended thatTravel Plans are submitted alongside all planning applications that are likelyto have a significant transport implication (Communities & Local Government,2011, point 89).From the origins of Travel Plan policy, big steps have been made to improveand further develop the policies and guidance available. This has been mostlydown to continued local level development and persistence by a minority toensure that Travel Plans have a wider impact. Helen Roby (LTT 2008)established that local development has started to demonstrate a shift fromTravel Plans just addressing an external regulatory agenda, to one that workswith an organisation to support their own internal organisational goals. Withinthe findings of this study some responses did show a higher level ofunderstanding, with organisations attempting to link their Travel Plan with theirwider internal organisational goals. However, this was certainly not the casefor the majority of the responses received. Unfortunately, even with thechanges introduced alongside NPPF, it could be argued that stronger centralgovernment guidance needs to be issued, with a view to standardising thedifference approaches taken across the UK. By utilising beacon examples ofTravel Plans, and introducing a level of consistency, long-term it may bepossible to introduce a network of interlinked Travel Plans, which worktogether; as opposed to a series of Travel Plans that serves only the interestsof one organisation. By joining Travel Plans together, it may be possible to 50
  • promote the wider benefits of green initiatives; for example car sharing andsupporting subsidised public transport.5.4. To investigate how KCC manages the Travel Plan processKCC has been managing Travel Plans based on Government guidance andLocal Development Plans. This has resulted in a standard format beingemployed to produce Travel Plans over the past decade. It was possible toinvestigate this approach by studying the latest KCC document, ‘RevisedGuidance on Securing, Monitoring and Enforcing Travel Plans in Kent’ (2012).In addition to this, interviews were undertaken with Kent’s SustainableTransport Manager and a Senior Development Planner.Kent County Council had applied Travel Plans in such a way that it led themto often become drawn out and confused, which resulted in the failure ofPlans. It was identified in the interview that the ability for KCC to take a moreproactive approach was also being hindered by resource constrains, thisessential came down to a lack of staff to be able to support all districts withinthe County. Historically, it was identified that part of this resource issue wasthe result of the highways function being taken from a district level andadministered at a county level. This not only caused problems with staffallocation, as services were streamlined, but also created a multitude ofdifferent policies and objectives across the Authority, as opposed to onesingle goal for the greater good of promoting and managing Travel Plans.Through my use of the KCC iTRACE database, I was able to identify areaswhere a possible lack of communication between Travel Plan coordinators’and KCC was reducing the overall effectiveness of Travel Plans. In total 129-recorded Travel Plans were un-contactable out of a total of 253-recordedTravel Plans. This gives a highly likely indication that the Plans were nolonger either being enforced, or monitored.Moving forward with the new guidance, KCC is looking to produce TravelPlans on an ‘outcomes’ basis, with on-going monitoring, targets and sanctions.The creation of a ‘Requirements Checklist’ is just one way that the Authority istrying to help support businesses looking to introduce a Travel Plan. In myopinion the use of a standard checklist not only makes it easier fororganisations to identify measures they may wish to consider, but KCC canalso benefit by limiting the number of suggestions and thus tailoring theiradvice, services and energy in to a set number of areas, as opposed tohaving to deal with endless proposals for measures known not to have beensuccessful on the basis of previous experience. It is also about trying toimprove the transparency of Travel Plans by being upfront with businessesabout yearly monitoring costs, whilst working with organisations to ensuretargets are met and appropriate action is taken where there is a failure toachieve agreed outcomes.KCC’s Sustainable Transport Manager highlighted the need for KCC to workwith developers to ensure that the required infrastructure is in-place, inadvance of a Travel Plan being introduced. For example, cycle lanes andelectric charging points. He also indicated that further improvements could be 51
  • made to the New Ways 2 Work website, with further marketing and proactiveinitiatives being promoted by the Council in conjunction with other externalorganisations. As part of the drive to improve the process clear roles andresponsibilities have been defined. This includes three tiers of involvement,including: local planning authorities; KCC Highways and TransportationDevelopment Planning Team; KCC Highways and Transportation SustainableTransport Team; and where applicable the Highways Agency. By having thissetup in place, organisations that are required to produce a Travel Plan will bedealing with a system that has a clearer structure, with reduced ambiguities.This goes someway to addressing the concerns of T. Rye et al (2011), whoclaimed that local authority dissemination and management has to date beenpiecemeal and was acting as a barrier to the wider introduction of TravelPlans.One of the other main points raised by the Senior Development Plannerincluded the need for KCC to make greater use of TRICs and TransportAssessments when Travel Plans are being produced. By utilising theseplanning tools, it would be possible to more accurately predict future trafficlevels and subsequently produce a Travel Plan that is more closely linked tothe development and its needs.To date KCC has taken a ‘hands off’ approach to managing Travel Planswithin the County, it has however started to change this in line with theintroduction of NPPF. Long-term funding and staffing are however a bigconcern that stills needs to be overcome, especially when funding throughGovernment schemes such as the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF)concludes. Self-funding of elements, such as the on-going requirement tomonitor progress is however one way to overcome funding shortfalls, whichwould enable KCC to more proactively manage all Travel Plans within itsjurisdiction, on a more viable long-term basis.5.5. To research how companies are managing their Travel PlansResearch by Roby (2010) indicates that organisations need to be activeinstigators of Travel Plans in order to ensure long-term benefits are achieved,as opposed to the short-term aspirations. In my opinion Roby’s observationsare correct; unless organisations are willing to fully commit to delivering aworkable Travel Plan it will fail to deliver not only the long-term benefits, butalso any short-term aspirations. In the past two decades we have seen anincreased awareness of ‘social responsibility’ within society, which has in turnresulted in many companies reviewing the way their business operates. Thishas also led to some companies working towards a management standard,which can then be used to publicise the ethical, environmental or socialresponsibilities of their organisation - for example ISO 14001 - EnvironmentalManagement System (British Standards Institution, 2012). Kolk’s (2008) andElkington’s (1999) studies both demonstrated a trend towards growingtransparency surrounding corporate behaviour, with a move to improvingaccountability and changing the traditional belief that businesses’ soleresponsibility is concerned with only maximising profit. 52
  • To try and confirm the view that companies are changing their views towardscorporate social responsibility, in particular Travel Plans, this study undertooka survey of organisations within Kent that had introduced a Travel Plan. In themain, those who responded did identify that they had an individual member ofstaff responsible for the administration of their Plan. However, on closeranalysis during the in-depth telephone interviews it was clear that thecoordinator role was often subject to staff changes, with little importanceplaced on the handover, thus resulting in a loss of knowledge and continuityfor the Travel Plan. On-going management and updating of the Plan producedan inconsistent response. In the main most very rarely updated their Plan totake account of changes. Interestingly a large number of respondents didindicate that they undertook monitoring surveys throughout the year, thoughdisappointingly it does not seem that any feedback, as a consequence of thesurveys has resulted in Travel Plans being updated. As a result organisationsare failing to capitalise on the opportunities of the future, as they are nottaking full account of the knowledge gained (Romme, 1992). Results from thestudy also showed that few organisations were integrating their Travel Planwithin a corporate green agenda. I believe that this is partly down to previousgovernment guidance and as a result of the way that KCC has chosen toimplement Travel Plans. The idea of linking Travel Plans with internalorganisational goals is not necessarily new within the academic sphere; it ishowever something that KCC and other local authorities have less experienceof delivering. Over time it is likely that standalone Travel Plans will bereplaced by a single corporate green agenda, but until more pressure is putupon organisations to embed their Travel Plan within the foundations of theircompany the idea is unlikely to take off.From the research undertaken in Kent, it would seem that most organisationshave no firm plans for managing their Travel Plan on an on-going basis. Eventhose that identified having successfully introduced a Travel Plan were stillbeing constrained from developing further by internal processes and politics.This further identifies that Travel Plans are yet to be fully understood andembedded within organisational goals. Unless this occurs, bureaucratichurdles will persist, which will limit the potential of a Travel Plan andsubsequently limit the identifiable benefits. To facilitate the long-term benefitsof Travel Plans, it is going to be essential that the importance of a sitecoordinator to champion the whole Travel Plan process is demonstratedwithin planning and Travel Plan guidance. Without a site coordinator theactive management of Travel Plans will continue to be a problem, whichultimately results in Plans not achieving the outcomes they set out to reach.5.6. To identify constraints within the travel planning processThe travel planning process has been continuing to evolve since its firstintroduction. This has seen an unprecedented growth in more localisedagendas amongst local authorities (Roby, 2008). At the same time, thenational government has further developed the guidelines surroundingplanning policy. The latest, NPPF has consolidated past guidelines. However,I would argue the most recent guidance still lacks a strong central control toguide developers and ultimately create a system that incentivises 53
  • organisations to embrace Travel Plans. Somewhat disappointingly, theGovernment is yet to satisfactorily tackle the metaphorical ‘elephant in theroom’; creating policy to tackle existing developments and encouraging theseorganisations to introduce Travel Plans voluntarily, outside of the planningprocess.Local planning and highway authorities are constrained by time and staffresources. This ultimately leads to Travel Plans being introduced that do notnecessarily meet the needs of the end user. In a lot of cases Travel Plans areviewed as more of a bureaucratic box-ticking exercise in the process ofobtaining planning permission. Long-term, this lack of resource is alsohampering the effective monitoring and enforcement of Travel Plans that havealready been introduced. This in part is down to insufficient training of publicsector workers who are tasked with dissemination the required information toorganisation.Through discussions with staff at Kent County Council, it was also identifiedthat a greater understanding is required about a site and the impact it is goingto have on the transport network; this could be enhanced through the use ofTRICS and Transport Assessments. Poor communication was also sighted asa barrier to those trying to implement a Travel Plan; this is especially relevantin Kent where the role of planning and enforcement is split between lower andupper tier authorities. Securing commitment from a developer, or organisationwithout any real form of penalties was also seen as a big challenge, which isyet to be fully addressed by the Government and local authorities. The currentlack of independent checking and limited local authority resources to pursuebroken commitments in court was seen as one of the biggest constraintswithin the existing travel planning process.Through having direct contact with organisations that had introduced TravelPlans in Kent, it has also been possible to capture and identify the constraintswithin the current travel planning process. Overwhelmingly there seems to bea lack of awareness and understanding about what a Travel Plan is and canhope to achieve. The in-depth telephone interviews identified one Travel Plangroup that had been formed to look at introducing a Travel Plan. This groupand subsequently the Travel Plan were both shelved because the majority ofthe group were looking for car-based improvements e.g. new roads, increasedparking. The four main constraints raised most frequently, include:  Funding & legislation constraints;  Lack of employer interest;  Lack of time; and  Poor access to public transport.All four points were identified as hampering attempts to change employeeattitudes. Interestingly, the identified constraints match closely with a studyconducted by Coleman (2000, p139-148), where he identifies that businessesare held back by the lack of public transport alternatives (38%), lack ofGovernment legislation (37%), tax incentives (35%), along with the need for 54
  • improved advice and support (20%). Other themes raised include the linkbetween organisations and local authorities. It was felt that some localauthorities showed a lack of willingness to engage, with many organisationsbeing confused by internal processes and frustrated by not having a singlepoint of contact. On-going monitoring was reported to suffer from poorresponse rates. Others reported that the monitoring software provided by KentCounty Council was limited in its ability to be adapted to an individualorganisation’s needs. Further feedback also suggested that the software wasslow and had been plagued by poor performance issues.In addition to the main points highlighted above, the lack of legislation toensure companies comply with Travel Plan commitments was singled out asone of the possible underlying reasons for the lack of ownership surroundingTravel Plans. The very fact that organisations seem aware of the limitedresources local authorities have to monitor and take action could also be apossible loophole being taken advantage of. This is resulting in the continuedview that Travel Plans are more of a bureaucratic box-ticking requirement, asopposed to a unique site-specific Plan, designed to minimise the negativetransport impacts of a site and indeed confer benefits on the end users.5.7. To establish how Travel Plans can be improvedOne of the priorities of this study has been to examine the current travel-planning situation within Kent, and to examine what Travel Plan coordinatorsand the local authority believe would improve today’s process.Having established the study theme, the research focus has been to look atthe day-to-day operational elements of running a Travel Plan. The datarequired was collected through an online survey (Figure 13), consideredagainst the backdrop of current policies and guidelines. Data collected fromquestionnaires was examined further through more in-depth interviews toquestion and establish the reasons behind the responses to the originalsurvey. The responses received indicated a wide range of suggestedimprovements, however none of them were unexpected. It is somewhatencouraging in my opinion that respondents’ suggestions received resemblethose proposed within parts of the literature review, and echo the viewsfollowing the interviews undertaken with Kent County Council. It alsodemonstrates that organisations do have an interest when it comes to TravelPlans, and their involvement could potentially bring a number of very relevantsuggestions to the table for future improvements as a result of theirexperiences. 55
  • Figure 13 - Online survey improvement responses.It was clear from the study that I undertook that the area relating to thesuccess of Travel Plans is very emotive, with many organisations seizingupon the opportunity to provide feedback in relation to the Travel Planprocess. For that reason, the responses received were wide-ranging andoften highly specific to their own experiences. Nonetheless, all responseswere collected to build up a wider picture of the current situation. Interestinglymany of the comments, although relating to ‘local’ Travel Plans, linked closelywith past and current academic thinking on how Travel Plans could beimproved.As a result, this study has been able to identify three headline areas that needto be tackled in-order for Travel Plans to be improved. These headline areasmost closely reflect Coleman’s academic study (2000, p139-148) and include:  Greater local authority input / support;  Improved national Government policy, to include enforcement legislation and an incentives scheme; and  Renewed streamlined guidance / marketing. 56
  • My investigations have also shown that in order to improve the travel planningprocess, local authorities have a key part to play in providing support andworking with organisations to introduce national policies. By identifying earlythe impact of a site on the network performance, through the use of TransportAssessments, the greater chance the local authority has of ensuring the finalTravel Plan is a success for all. It has been shown in this study thatorganisations are calling for greater local authority support and input, this isone opportunity for local authorities to utilise their unique knowledge andspecialist skills to support the Travel Plan process.From the feedback collected, it is clear that there is a need for additionallegislative support to enable the effective enforcement of Travel Plans.Following the interviews conducted with Kent County Council’s SeniorDevelopment Planner, it was suggested that bonds could be introduced tosecure developer commitments early on with more upfront costs. It is hopedthat this type of approach could incentivise greater commitment to meetingTravel Plan targets, with the developer taking greater ownership overcoordinating a site Travel Plan and meeting mode targets. A need for cautionwas flagged by KCC’s Senior Development Planner, who noted that therewould need to be a careful balance, otherwise “the viability of a site to adeveloper is going to decrease the more onerous a Travel Plan becomes”. Itwas also suggested that any targets could be “locked down at the differentphases”, as opposed to a whole development plan. This approach would offergreater flexibility to adjust the Travel Plan on the basis of its performance. Inmy view, the approach for each site would need to be considered on anindividual basis. However, by introducing bonds and providing greaterflexibility to update a Travel Plan, both KCC and the developer could benefitby increasing the enforcement options, whilst also providing the developerwith the flexibility to develop the Travel Plan in line with the requirements oftheir development.In addition to looking at the use of bonds, the in-depth telephone interviewspromoted the idea of ownership for Travel Plans sitting solely at the doorstepof an organisation. Without this, it was felt that people would not be put offfrom driving. To date, the Government has made limited progress through thetax system, whereby no tax or national insurance contributions are requiredfor certain ‘green’ investments. However, this is vastly inferior to othercountries, in particular the USA where Travel Plans are mandated for mosttypes of employers through the CTR programme. I would advocate furtherresearch to identify and understand what types of fiscal incentives could beintroduced in the UK and would trigger an organisation to develop a TravelPlan. This research also needs to consider how Travel Plans can beintroduced on a voluntary basis with organisations outside of the planningprocess. Through studying examples such as CTR in the USA, considerableexperience could be gained to help support future UK policy. By gathering thefacts at the local level, it will also be possible to lobby central government toensure that Travel Plans do not get left behind in an ever changing politicaland economic environment.Finally, as Rye and MacLeod, (1998) highlighted in their study, it is crucial thatan organisation understands that there is a transport problem impacting upon 57
  • their site. Today a large number of organisations still chose not toacknowledge this and subsequently do nothing to mitigate the problem. Anyfuture changes need to eradicate the past “mixed messages” surroundingTravel Plans. This can only be achieved by building on the existing guidancedisseminated by local authorities to ensure it is tied in with the nationalmessage, local objectives (as set out within Local Development Frameworks),and also more importantly, has the ability to be linked into internalorganisational goals - as opposed to simply addressing an external regulatoryagenda. By linking these different objectives in a single document, it will beeasier to improve the accountability of businesses and educate stakeholdersand senior managers, who in turn can pass this knowledge down to their staff,embedding travel planning as a tool for effective business management. Thisthen provides organisations with the opportunity to generate cost savings,lending companies a competitive advantage and which has additional benefitsfor the environment and the health of employers.5.8. LimitationsWhen designing the scope for this study, and in particular the online surveyelement, the number of available contacts gave me a reasonable level ofcomfort in receiving a significant enough rate of response to allow somestatistical analysis to be conducted as part of the study. However the studyhas been significantly limited by the number of responses received to theonline survey. This has been compounded by the subsequent lack of timeavailable to expand the contact pool to find other potential survey respondentsand also to undertake further in-depth telephone interviews.Given the outdated nature of many of the contact details contained with theKent County Council iTRACE database, it was only possible to obtain a smallnumber of responses. In one sense, this highlights one of the main issueswith Travel Plans, where details are not updated and a main point of contactis never identified and also perhaps reflects a general lack of relevance ofTravel Plans to the wider community. Inaccurate data is a particularlyprevalent problem when a Travel Plan is created by a consultant for anorganisation, as this adds an additional obstacle between the local authority,consultant and site coordinator (if identified).As stated, had more responses to the online survey been received it wouldhave been possible to utilise statistical analysis tests, such as Chi-square,which could have been used to compare the recorded data against a set ofspecific hypothesises to identify the levels of statistical significance within theresponses captured. In hindsight it may have been useful to contact severallocal authorities to try and capture a greater number of responses, however,this would also have diluted the local context of my study.5.9. Further research ideasAs identified in section 5.8, it would be sensible to expand any future surveyto try and gain a greater number of responses. This could be achieved bytargeting out of date contacts within the Kent County Council iTRACE 58
  • database, or involve contacting additional local authorities that operateiTRACE, or a similar type of database. Although much of the data collectedhas come from consultants, site coordinators and Kent County Council, itwould be good to understand more from an employee perspective. By havingthis information it would be possible to link policy and overarchingorganisational views with the opinions of everyday Travel Plan users. Anadditional area that could be investigated is the Nottingham WorkplaceParking Levy to try and understand the wider impact this has had on TravelPlans within the city. 59
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  • Appendix AOnline survey results Travel Plan Survey Creation Did you have any involvement in the development of your organisations1 original Travel Plan? Yes: 18 No: 13 Total responses: 31 Does anyone in your organisation have Travel Plan responsibilities as2 part of their job role? Yes: 7 No: 6 Total responses: 133 How long have you been involved with your organisations Travel Plan? Less than a year: 4 Between 1 - 2 years: 5 More than 2 years: 9 Total responses: 184 Why did your organisation develop a Travel Plan? (tick all that apply) Planning condition / agreement 15 Parking restraints on the site 9 A green corporate agenda 15 Traffic problems on local roads 6 Cost savings 4 Other 6 Total responses: 31 Other responses: No Travel Plan 2 67
  • To aid occupiers 1 Transport company 1 Planning condition 1 N/A 15 What are the key features of your Travel Plan? Information boards showing sustainable transport options 14 Car sharing 19 Restricted/ priority parking on site 12 Financial incentives to use alternative means of transport to the private car 3 Subsidised public transport use 6 Provision of showers/ changing facilities/ lockers 11 Public transport improvements 8 Provision of minibuses to collect/drop off staff 4 Other (please specify) 13 Total Response: 31 Other responses: Cycle to Work scheme 4 Incentive competitions 1 Eco driver training 1 Forums 1 Taxi / Bus services 1 Improved walking access 1 N/A 4 Implementation6 What actions from your Travel Plan have been carried out? Information boards showing sustainable transport options 15 Car sharing 16 Restricted/ priority parking on site 11 Financial incentives to use alternative means of transport to the private car 5 Subsidised public transport use 4 Provision of showers/ changing facilities/ lockers 14 Public transport improvements 6 Provision of minibuses to collect/drop off staff 4 Other (please specify) 13 Total responses: 31 68
  • Other responses: Cycle to Work scheme 5 Eco driver training 1 Taxi / Bus services 1 Improved walking access 1 N/A 57 Have you had any problems implementing your Travel Plan? Yes: 7 No: 24 Total responses: 317A What were they? Funding 1 No internet access 1 Lack of interest 1 Time 1 Poor public transport / transport connections 2 No plan 18 Is there anything that hasnt been implemented? Yes: 11 No: 20 Total responses: 318A Why? Time 1 Viability 1 Internet access 1 Change in corporate priorities 1 On going planning issues 1 Director sign-off 1 Improvement in local public transport links 1 N/A 4 Reviewing9 How often is your Travel Plan updated? 69
  • More than once a year 2 Every 1-2 years 12 Every 2+ years 5 Never 12 Total responses: 3110 What do you do to update your Travel Plan? Annual review of internal policies 1 Annual travel survey undertaken 6 As and when required 2 New plan produced every 4 years, or less 2 Review as part of ISO 14001 accreditation 1 iTRACE survey undertaken 1 On going monitoring 3 Reviewed against the current corporate agenda 2 Have you surveyed how people travel to/from your site since the Travel11 Plan was first implemented? Yes: 17 No: 14 Total responses: 31 What changes to travel behaviour have you found since your Travel Plan12 was implemented? Reduction in site traffic 1 Increase in car-sharing and reduce single occupancy car trips 5 Increase in the use of the free bus 1 Growth in kentjourneyshare membership 1 Staff showing greater consideration for how they travel 1 Decrease in car use 1 Reduced fuel use 1 Increase in bus frequency following increased demand 1 None 4 Engagement with other organisations13 Have you contacted any other organisations about your Travel Plan? Yes: 10 No: 20 Total responses: 30 70
  • 14 Who did you contact? Kent County Council 8 Your local District / Borough Council 6 Consultancy firm 3 Other companies developing Travel Plans 4 Other 314A Other responses: Other local businesses 1 Local Primary Care Trust 1 Other 1 Success15 How satisfied are you with the success of your Travel Plan? Very Satisfied 2 Satisfied 9 Neutral 10 Dissatisfied 1 Very Dissatisfied 5 Total responses: 2716 How has it been successful? (tick all that apply)* Saved money (e.g. cost of providing parking spaces) 2 Cut mileage claims 1 Reduced staff downtime (e.g. time travelling on business) 2 Solved congestion problems on and around your site 7 Improved your sustainable image 3 Helped meet demand for corporate social responsibility improvements 1 Increased car sharing to/from work 8 More staff now use public transport to travel to/from work 2 Other 3 Total responses: 11 Other responses: Increased cycle usage 1 LSTF grant funding for cycling facilities 1 Other 1 71
  • 17 What are the reasons for your Travel Plans success? Support from management 11 Employee motivation 6 Support from Kent County Council 8 Support from District/Borough Council 2 Grant funding 1 Other 4 Other responses: Consultant support 1 Taking examples from other organisations plans 1 Corporate social agenda, rather than a specific Travel Plan 1 Other 118 Why do you think it has not been successful? Lack of Local Authority support 1 Time constraints 1 Lack of public transport 1 High cost of public transport 1 Yet to be implemented 1 Not yet re-surveyed to understand the impacts 1 Individual responsible has left the organisation 1 Other 319 In your opinion, how could the overall Travel Plan process be improved? Additional funding - S106s 1 Greater district and county council input 4 More central government policy 3 Collaboration between public services 1 Improved public transport 2 Enforcement and more legislation 2 More time to implement a Travel Plan 1 Increase fuel price 1 Greater guidance 1 Incorporate Travel Plans within a corporate strategy 2 Strategic travel planning, as opposed to stand alone plans 1 Other 6 72
  • 20 Are you aware of either of the following websites? Yes: 19 No: 6 Total responses: 25 73
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  • Making Workplace Travel Plans Work paper MAKING WORKPLACE TRAVEL PLANS WORK Charlotte Owen, Katie Pettitt and Thomas King Kent County CouncilABSTRACTKent County Council has approved over 300 Workplace Travel Plans, yet theactual effect of these Travel Plans has been little assessed. While there areother studies across the UK which attempt to measure modal shift, the view ofthe critical owner of the Travel Plan (the site coordinator) has largely beenignored. This paper will seek to redress the balance and unmask the views ofthe site coordinator.Mixed quantitative-qualitative questionnaires and supplementary interviewswill be used to understand their experience and attitudes towards their TravelPlans. The paper will examine when and why they consider their Travel Plansto have been successful (or not) and how the process could have procuredbetter results.Travel Plans are now frequently required under Condition for planningpermission, and their local reputation has unfortunately begun to slip. Theyare seen by some as a commodity to achieve planning permission, rather thana long term sustainable practice. This paper will unravel the perceptions andexperiences held by the site coordinator, which will be critical in forming moreeffective and respected Travel Plans in the future.Nearly 20 years after the birth of Travel Plans, this research is fundamental inassessing how effective they have actually been as evidenced by thoseresponsible for them. The views and experiences of the site coordinator willenable Kent County Council to better tailor the planning process to delivereffective Travel Plans that go further in achieving their objectives; not merelyfulfilling one criteria required for planning permission. This will have policyimplications for local authorities across the country and lead to some bestpractice examples.1. INTRODUCTION1.1 What is a Travel Plan?A Travel Plan is a set of measures put together to help an organisation meetits travel needs and improve safe and sustainable travel to and from their site.This will often involve the promotion of alternatives to the single occupancycar such as car sharing, walking, cycling and public transport. Intelligentchanges to working arrangements, such as teleworking can also help toreduce the need to travel altogether. 137
  • Significant political appetite for travel planning began in the 1990s, as itbecame apparent that new roads created new journeys, hence demand fortravelling must be managed (BBC News, 2010). The Government’s WhitePaper A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone in 1998 clearly definedthis vision to reduce congestion and improve public transport options.1.2 Past practice in Kent County CouncilHistorically, at Kent County Council (KCC) all Travel Plans were recorded bythe Sustainable Transport Team, who also conducted monitoring and offeredadvice as required. However, since the cessation of School Travel Planfunding from the Government and a restructure at KCC the SustainableTransport Team lacks the resources to do this work for the sheer number ofWorkplace Travel Plans. Instead the Team will continue to work with schoolsin a voluntary matter but hand-over all planning obligated Travel Plans to theDevelopment Planning Team.1.3 April 2012- Hand over to Development Planning TeamAs the majority of planning obligated Travel Plans are requested at planningstage by the Development Planning Team, it was deemed appropriate andmore effective for this team to take responsibility for such Travel Plans. As ofApril 2012, the Development Planning Team now has full responsibility formanaging the county’s planning obligated Travel Plans. The idea is that thelocal Development Planners who consider the need for a Travel Plan at acertain site are the best placed to judge its progress and ensure targets aremet. This is the perfect time therefore to assess the state of Travel Plans, andensure they are taken forward in the most efficient and valuable way. Thelessons learnt from this research, as well as the experience of the SustainableTransport Team and Development Planners, have informed a new approachto Travel Plans. The details of the new procedure for securing, monitoring andenforcing Travel Plans in Kent are explained in Section 6.2. METHODOLOGYA mixed quantitative – qualitative methodology was used, consisting of anonline survey and follow-up telephone interviews.2.1 Online SurveyKent County Council stores the details of the county’s Travel Plans using thesoftware iTRACE. This includes the contact details for either the sitecoordinator or the manager of the site who is creating the Travel Plan. Asurvey link was sent to the list of contacts held on the iTRACE software,requesting them to respond about their experiences with their site Travel Plan.For the majority this was sent via email, with letters and phone calls to theremainder for whom we had no contact email address.Of the 337 sites registered on iTRACE 253 were used for the survey. Theremainder were labelled in iTRACE as “expression of interest” for voluntaryTravel Plans or “proposed” for planning obligated Travel Plans; none 138
  • contained any details of proposals or commitments. It was judged likely thatthese Travel Plans were never taken forward.In total, 129 were found to be un-contactable. This was mainly due to out-of-date information and a lack of any contact details. It is assumed, therefore,that 124 contacts were successfully contacted (as long as emails were readby the correct person). 31 responses to the online survey were received (24complete and 7 partial), which gives a response rate of 25%.A copy of the online survey is available by request from the authors.2.2 Limitations with the online surveyAlthough a 25% response rate was achieved, it is believed that a higher ratewas not achieved for the following reasons:  It is likely that many site coordinators had left their organisation and not passed on their Travel Plan responsibilities to a colleague. It was immediately evident for those sites with only telephone contact details that this was often the case, and upon phoning the organisation no one else knew about their Travel Plan.  If the “site coordinator” never really took responsibility for the Travel Plan, but merely gave their name as the contact then they were unlikely to complete the survey. The idea of a Travel Plan is to carry out on going monitoring and continually assess the needs of the site. However, some responses clearly showed that the “coordinator” had never conducted any work on their Travel Plan and were barely familiar with the concept at all. It was often the case that these were central corporate teams and not physically present on the site.  Similarly, where central corporate teams are responsible for Travel Plans they may cover more than one site. Our email did not specify which site we wanted the coordinator to fill out the survey for and this may have inhibited some from completing the form. However, we did not receive any return emails asking for clarification on this matter so it is assumed this had minimal effect.  For those organisations with multiple Travel Plans who did complete the survey, only one response was received.  Due to the economic recession and lengthy nature of planning developments, it is assumed that some sites have still not progressed into being built or occupied. It is also assumed that some sites never gained planning permission.2.3 Telephone InterviewsAfter the survey responses were collated, the respondents who had indicatedthat they would be happy to take part in a follow-up interview were contactedto arrange a time. Before the interview their answers were looked at in more 139
  • detail, so as to tailor the questions appropriately. This generated a greaterdepth of understanding about their specific experiences and thoughts duringthe interview. As such a semi-structured approach was used. The themeseach telephone interview concentrated on were:  Responsibility for the Travel Plan (at creation, implementation and monitoring);  Measures implemented;  Overall success;  Any difficulties encountered;  Interaction with KCC; and  What could be done to improve the Travel Plan process.3. SURVEY RESULTSA number of questions were asked in the online survey pertaining to why theTravel Plan was created, whether the coordinator had been involved from theearly stages and if they considered the Travel Plan to have been a success,amongst other questions. This section will now investigate selected results.3.1 Did you have any involvement in the development of your organisationsoriginal Travel Plan?58% of respondents were involved in the development of their site Travel Plan.For those not involved, this may have been because they have taken over theresponsibility from a colleague since its creation, or because the work wasgiven to a consultant.3.2 Why did your organisation develop a Travel Plan?Planning condition/agreement 48%Parking restraints onsite 29%A green corporate agenda 48%Traffic problems on local roads 19%Cost savings 13%Other 19%Table 1: Reasons for creating a Travel PlanTravel Plan proposed outputs mainly consisted of information boards, carsharing, restricted onsite parking, and provision of shower and locker facilities;of which the most common was car sharing. Of those using “other” measuresthe implementation of the Cycle to Work scheme was most common.Notably, whilst 61% of respondents named car sharing as a feature of theirTravel Plan only 52% had actually implemented this. Conversely, whilst 36%had Travel Plans including provision of shower and locker facilities, 45% hadactually implemented these measures.23% of respondents experienced problems implementing their Travel Planand 36% had not implemented all of the measures identified. The reasons 140
  • given for this difficulty included lack of time and funding, no internet access,poor public transport, the unviability of measures proposed, achieving directorsign-off and lack of interest from site occupiers.3.3 How often is your Travel Plan updated?Never 39%Every 2+ years 16%Every 1-2 years 39%More than once a year 6%Table 2: Frequency of updating the Travel Plan39% of respondents never update their Travel Plan whilst 45% update it morefrequently than every 2 years. When asked how the Travel Plan was updatedthe vast majority of respondents cited merely carrying out a site survey andupdating an information board.Only 55% of respondents had carried out a site survey. Whilst some siteswere still less than a year old since occupation, there remain a high numberwhich have not completed this basic component of a Travel Plan.3.4 What changes to travel behaviour have you found since your Travel Planwas implemented?The main positive effect of the Travel Plan was cited to be an increase inemployees car sharing, including more signed up to positive effects were an increase in cycling and an improved corporatesustainability image. One site had identified a 50% reduction in traffictravelling through or on site. However, next to car sharing the second mostcommon answer was that there had been no change to travel behaviour; withone respondent saying “people are selfish as ever.”When asked the reason for the relative success of the Travel Plan,respondents cited support from management, support from Kent CountyCouncil and employee motivation. Of the third of respondents who answeredthat they had contacted other organisations about their Travel Plan, 80% hadcontacted Kent County Council and 40% had spoken to other companiesdeveloping Travel Plans. These tended to be other companies in the samedevelopment site.3.5 How satisfied are you with the success of your Travel Plan?Figure 1 shows the breakdown of responses to how successful coordinatorsfelt their Travel Plan had been. The largest group of respondents answered“neutral” but a similar number were “satisfied.” More people were in the“satisfied” and “very satisfied” categories than “neutral” or “dissatisfied” withtheir success. No respondent said they were “very dissatisfied”. Whererespondents have answered “not applicable” this is likely to be because theTravel Plan has not yet been implemented. 141
  • Figure 1: Satisfaction with the Success of the Travel PlanAs in 3.4, respondents felt their Travel Plans had been most successful interms of car sharing (73%) and improved sustainable image (65%). A further27% of respondents also said that the Travel Plan had helped meetshareholder demand for corporate social responsibility. No one ticked that ithad reduced mileage claims suggesting that the focus is on commuterjourneys rather than business mileage.A wide range of reasons were given for the success of the Travel Plan withthe most popular answer being support from management. This was echoedin the telephone interviews where it was confirmed that the Travel Plan is bestimplemented if it sits at director-level. An encouraging 38% of respondentssaid that support from Kent County Council was a reason for the success butthis clearly has potential to be improved upon. 27% of respondents feltemployee motivation was crucial. Other reasons given included the support ofa consultancy and cross-over with other corporate plans and companysustainability agenda.Where it was felt the Travel Plan had not been successful one respondentnoted that it was because the original coordinator had left. This reinforces theassumption in section 2.2 that this may be a reason for non-response to thesurvey, and may well be the case across a number of organisations that wehave on record. Another responded that the “public transport is not likeLondon but we use London Travel Plan expectations.” This view wasreiterated in follow-up telephone interviews particularly because Kent is a ruralcounty with limited public transport options.3.6 How could the overall Travel Plan process be improved? 142
  • This question was designed to gain insight into what Kent County Council andother organisations could do to improve the Travel Plan process. The majorityof responses asked for better investment in public transport, including the useof Section 106 agreements to do so. Another theme was “top tips” on how tomanage a Travel Plan suggesting that some coordinators are not veryexperienced in the process. Others suggested that central governmentlegislation and enforcement is needed in order to get people to change theirhabits. Two respondents stated that the Travel Plans should integrate moreeffectively with other area plans, with one saying:“A plan in isolation will not really deliver. There needs to more interaction with a strategic plan for the area to work out what would work.”4. TELEPHONE INTERVIEW RESULTSThe telephone interviews produced detailed insight into the real lifeexperiences of Travel Plan site coordinators. We believe the information to beillustrative of the wider experiences of coordinators in Kent and indeed acrossthe country. This section details the feelings and suggestions of thecoordinators and section 5 derives learning from both the survey and interviewdata.Travel Plans are not a priority when employees leave an organisationresulting in out-of-date records held by KCC. Upon phoning one organisationthe likely coordinator was tracked down as being in their Sustainability Teamand it transpired that their predecessor had not ever handed over the Plan.This backs up the assertion in section 2.2 that an element of the low responserate is due to there being no current “owner” of the Travel Plan.Some organisations consider sustainability in wider terms to be moreimportant, for example picking up elements of travel in their SustainabilityAction Plan and Carbon Management Plan. These have been given prioritybecause of their wider reach and concentration on reducing business costsrather than mileage due to commuting, which has little financial cost to thebusiness.Fundamentally there was a lack of knowledge of what a Travel Plan actuallyentails, particularly around the focus on reducing single occupancy car use.One organisation said that as soon as it became clear that the Travel Planwas not going to address gridlock with infrastructure many companies on thesite lost interest and motivation around sustainable travel. This may beaffected by the majority of coordinators not having the Travel Plan as the mainpart of their role.All interviewees considered where the Travel Plan sits in the organisationalstructure to be important to its success. For example, having senior managerbuy-in, or the Plan sitting at that level, was seen as vital. In reality, often thePlan is with a sustainability oriented team, a store manager or HR manager. Acouple of coordinators remarked that their Travel Plan role conflicted with theirother duties, such as selling parking permits (generating income for the 143
  • organisation) and ensuring site occupancy on a business park. The businesspark coordinator felt that individual companies should be responsible for theirown Plan. Reflecting the survey results, there was support for “hard”measures such as legislation to double the cost of fuel. One proponent of thisview believed that changes should be forced in a top-down approach startingat Government level.Those that had used iTRACE found it “clunky” and others had avoided using italtogether. One commented that a survey they produced had been a near-disaster because the organisation’s firewall wouldn’t let many people access it.Many criticisms and questions were then mistakenly sent to the Directorbecause mass-mailings had to come from their email account. Further, thecoordinator could not customise the survey so people in rural Kent were askedif they used the Docklands Light Railway to get to work. Many thought thesurvey had been produced in-house and therefore it impacted negatively onthe management’s reputation. In the future surveys are unlikely to be sent outby this organisation as a consequence.In general, site coordinators were realistic about why people use the privatecar. There was general apathy around the success of Travel Plans and theirability to influence, and some coordinators seemed resigned to the idea thatpeople would always drive. This was backed up when interviewing thecoordinator of a voluntary Travel Plan who had researched other Plans andfound that “reducing the carbon footprint isn’t a driving force for a lot of them .”The coordinator was implying that the focus is on cost and getting planningconsent.When working with other organisations “communication is key,” particularly inthe context of Local Authorities. Where enthusiastic people are helping withthe Travel Plan, coordinators and consultants are more likely to commit realeffort to making the Travel Plan a success. However, it was felt that someLocal Authorities had been obstructive when the Travel Plan authors are justtrying to “do their best” for the site. Notably, KCC was not highlighted asobstructive but instead received positive reviews.Linking back to the general apathy around Travel Plans, one coordinator saidthat “most businesses just want to ‘tick the box’ in their Travel Plan” and thatKCC could make it easier for them to do so. They suggested issuing acatalogue or directory of useful contacts and companies who could helporganise events, such as Walk to Work Week.5. ANALYSIS “Less spin and more honesty”Travel Plans have often been lost by the wayside for a variety of reasons,including poor handover between coordinators, lack of employee andmanagement motivation, and other priorities taking precedence. This maysuggest that KCC’s monitoring and assistance processes are not provingeffective in their current format. 144
  • It is possible that a lack of enthusiasm from site coordinators may translateinto how the Travel Plan is implemented. For example, one intervieweeseemed to accept that travel choices are due to upbringing and so thereshould be “less spin and more honesty” about the Plan’s potential benefits.Likewise, where bus subsidies have been cut and few alternatives to theprivate car exist, these further damage motivation and commitment to the Plan.This supports the need for encouraging and helpful Local Authorities to inspirecoordinators to persevere and make a positive difference.It was found that when a consultant manages the Plan, they are able to usetheir expert knowledge to ensure the measures are implemented. They relievepressure from the official site coordinator, and as they are beingcommissioned they are able to dedicate resources to implementing the TravelPlan. However, their dependence on the client commissioning their work canalso disconnect them from actual progress. The nature of using an externalconsultant also means they are removed from the everyday working life of thesite, and may lack knowledge of actual travel behaviour patterns. Use of anexternal consultant is best determined by the individual requirements of theorganisation/site.A stand-alone Travel Plan may lack the support and staff resources to follow itthrough. By integrating it into wider existing plans and strategies, such as anorganisation’s sustainability or carbon reduction agenda, it is more likely that itwill receive sufficient financing and resourcing to achieve its outcomes; andthis approach should be encouraged.As suspected, the key to the success of a Travel Plan is the site coordinator.Where a site has appointed a dedicated member of staff this reflects greatercommitment to the Travel Plan. Although every site is meant to select acoordinator, in reality this is often a superficial designation. Sometimes evenwhen the Travel Plan coordinator does take this responsibility seriously, theyoften lack the time and resources to fit this extra role into their working day.By employing someone expressly to manage the Travel Plan, they are able toprioritise the work and see it through. Some positive examples have beenshown within organisations which have a “Sustainability Coordinator/Officer,”whose role expressly incorporates Travel Plan responsibilities.Many organisations group together related roles into one job description evenwhen this results in a conflict of interest. Although the coordinator can identifythis they have little choice in the matter and in these cases feel like thereshould be more of a “stick” to enforce Travel Plans coming from governmentlegislation.A Travel Plan is meant to be reviewed and updated annually. The objective isto continually keep up-to-date with the factors affecting a specific site, and totailor the response accordingly. This expectation is laid out in Kent CountyCouncil’s guidance on Travel Plans. The fact that 39% of respondents neverupdate their Travel Plan reveals how they are not being treated as intended.To rarely or even never update the Travel Plan will mean it remains static andunconnected to the site’s needs. 145
  • For those sites which do update their Travel Plan, it is alarming to note thelimited extent to which they do this, including the failure to use the informationgained in their site surveys. The aim of the site survey is to provide key insightinto the needs of employees/visitors and reveal ways which could incentivisepeople to travel more sustainably. There is little value to a travel survey if thedata is not used. It is positive to note that information boards are beingupdated; however, as a stand-alone measure this is very passive.6. LEARNING LESSONS: KENT COUNTY COUNCIL’S NEW GUIDANCE ONTRAVEL PLANSThe above findings are largely consistent with the views of members of theKent County Council Development Planning Team. Where Travel Plans wereonce commonly requested for even fairly small and insignificant developments,Kent County Council is now choosing to be more discriminate. The highvolume of Travel Plans and the very limited staff resource to monitor theirenforcement has resulted in Travel Plans becoming something of a tick-boxmeasure to achieve planning permission. The lack of site surveying andupdating reduces their value and utility, as they remain a static glimpse of pasttravel habits and objectives. If Travel Plans are not being used as an on goingtool, then the value of creating them in the first instance is questionable.Kent County Council’s Revised Guidance on Securing, Monitoring andEnforcing Travel Plans in Kent seeks to remedy some of these weaknesses.Travel Plans will be sought from only the more significant developments,where resulting travel will likely have a greater impact on the surroundinghighway/environment. All other development, which does not constitute minordevelopment, will require a Sustainable Travel Statement and List ofSustainable Travel Measures. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, lesssignificant sites are thus able to pursue sustainable travel in a morestreamlined and less onerous way, rather than through a full Travel Plan.The following list identifies the sites for which Travel Plans would beconsidered suitable:  Large commercial and mixed use sites with potential for significant trip generation impacting the local or strategic road network.  Some medium commercial and mixed use sites within areas where cumulative traffic increase is seriously impacting the environment, economic viability or quality of life e.g. congestion hotspots, Air Quality Management Areas etc.  Some larger residential developments, depending on local context and likely value of on going monitoring in contributing to the Travel Plan objectives.  Any other development where on-going monitoring and targets can bring about improvements to sustainable travel.6.1 Sustainable Travel Statement and List of Sustainable Travel Measures 146
  • The Sustainable Travel Statement and List of Sustainable Travel Measuresconstitute a tool to promote sustainable travel through direct measures ratherthan targets. This study has demonstrated that having a Travel Plan does notguarantee progress towards sustainable travel, as can be seen at the multiplesites which have been found to either not carry out a site survey, not put thesurvey information to good use, or do little beyond updating their informationboard. The long term and monitoring nature of a Travel Plan can mean it isneglected. This new approach ensures some easily identifiable “quick win”measures to facilitate sustainable travel.The purpose of the Sustainable Travel Statement is to allow the developer toexplain how people will travel to and from the site, including the difficultiesassociated with sustainable travel and how they will tackle this. A SustainableTravel Statement will often build on the contents of a TransportStatement/Transport Assessment and will typically include:  Site context;  Details of existing travel behaviour to/ from the site;  Staff/visitor travel survey results, including staff/visitor opinion regarding what would be an incentive to travel more sustainably;  Any factors which impede sustainable travel to/ from the site; and  List of Sustainable Travel Measures proposed.This will provide the relevant information to devise an appropriate andmeaningful List of Sustainable Travel Measures. The measures will be on-sitefacilities and incentivisation schemes to enable and encourage sustainabletravel choices. Examples might include cycle parking, electric vehicle chargingpoint, showering facilities or real-time bus information.An effective Travel Plan which is utilised well is always preferable, as travelneeds and preferences are never static, and influencing behaviour requires ongoing effort. However, it is necessary to remain realistic about outputs andwhat it is appropriate to ask of a developer. The new approach allows KentCounty Council to ensure smaller/less significant sites deliver some solidmeasures to facilitate sustainable travel, instead of becoming lost in the longlist of sites with Travel Plans but little resulting action.7. CONCLUSION: HOW CAN WE MAKE WORKPLACE TRAVEL PLANSWORK?In conclusion, this study has provided evidence of the difficulties withimplementing Travel Plans and the real life experiences of site coordinators. Ithas indicated that there are two broad categories of site coordinator: thosethat sit in wider sustainability oriented roles/teams; and those that havegeneral responsibility for the site but little focus on travel in their main job role(such as store or HR managers). Unsurprisingly those coordinators with aninterest in sustainability are more enthusiastic about their Travel Plan. In allcases coordinators are stretched for resources (“what budget!”) amongst abackdrop of expensive and inconvenient public transport. 147
  • The most significant lesson to take from this is that as a Local Authority weshould make the process as easy as possible for coordinators by providing theinformation and the tools necessary to influence travel to/from the site. Wealso need to be encouraging, supportive and enthusiastic to bolster the effortsof the coordinator or consultant. Even where the Travel Plan is seen as a box-ticking exercise by helping them to tick the box we can have a positive impact.One thing we have little influence over is organisational buy-in, which nodoubt affects whether the plan is handed over when employees move on.However, by improving our monitoring and enforcement of the Travel Planswe can promote the importance of the plan. Enforcement does not have to behard and in reality softer enforcement (i.e. encouragement and a positive andhelpful attitude) may be more effective by reflecting stretched resourcesacross all organisations in the current economic climate. KCC’s voluntaryscheme New Ways 2 Work unites businesses, transport providers and otherorganisations to share resources and ideas around sustainable travel. It is anexcellent example of how organisations and KCC can work together.Hopefully KCC’s new and more targeted approach to Travel Plans will delivergreater benefits in sustainable travel and improve the image of the Travel Plan.Less significant sites will be asked to provide certain hard measures beforeoccupation, which will be secured by Condition. It will thus be much faster andsimpler to ensure each site has met its commitments. KCC will continue torequest a Travel Plan from more significant sites. With a more selective list ofTravel Plans in the county and their responsibility now lying with theDevelopment Planning Team, their efficacy and reputation will improve asthere will be greater resource to monitor and ensure Travel Plans hold fast totheir targets.7. REFERENCESBBC News (18/01/2010), What Happened to the Ten Year Transport Plan? Accessed 05/06/2012(DETR) Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1998), ANew Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone (London: The Stationery Office) 148
  • Appendix BIn-depth telephone interview transcriptsSite OneHighway engineering, Kings Hill.Contact was in sustainability team.Background: Company has a Sustainability Manager for the local area. Thisperson is also responsible for the EMS (Energy Monitoring System). Xstarted her role in August 2011, and was not told anything about a Travel Planfor the site. Her predecessor (Y) had left 2 months previously and in thehandover folder there was no reference to a Travel Plan.The main site is in, Kings Hill, where there are 200 employees. There areanother 7 highway depots across the county with salt gritters and othermachinery.X had carried out a site survey in February 2010 (see iTRACE), whichshowed 116 single occupancy car drivers out of 143 respondents.Current Work: Although the Travel Plan is not continued, X’s roleincorporates a great deal of work developing sustainable travel etc. They havea Sustainability Action Plan that sets out targets for the various sites andmonitors their progress towards them. This contains a large section on“Environmental Limits” (carbon etc.) and within this there is a section on“Transport”. This is updated every January.Business Travel Survey: (To be repeated annually, to monitor progress).This looked at how people travel to work and was used to encourage morestaff to car share. It was deemed that public transport was not a viable optionfor most (live far away, and need to make changes between buses and trainsetc.) and therefore concentrating on car sharing was the most sensible option.They have given staff training on how to use video conferencing etc. to reducestaff travel and have begun to monitor driving (fuel efficiency) etc.Car Share Scheme: They have priority parking for car sharers, and held anevent giving free breakfast to car sharers (10-15 people turned up). Theyhave set up a car share database (excel spreadsheet) and people add theirdetails and browse through to find colleagues living near them. There arecurrently 20-25 people registered on the database.The office has core hours, which people must work, but they do also have acertain amount of flexi- time, with approval from manager. Some employeeshave company cars. There is a fleet of 100 vans and estate vehicles on site,which can be booked out when site visits are required. 149
  • Recommendations: X asked if there was anything I recommended for herand I asked whether she had heard of New Ways 2 Work; she was interestedto get involved and I sent her the website link.Site TwoBusiness Park, Dartford.Contact was the Property Manager.OverviewThe business park is located in north Kent. It comprises of approximately 140companies, employing around 10,000 people.The site has an issue with through-traffic from the M25 and A2. Heavycongestion is also a problem, and is mostly down to the close proximity of theDartford Crossing (M25) and Bluewater shopping centre. This causesproblems for companies and their employees accessing the business park.Is managing the Travel Plan part of your job role?The creation of the original Travel Plan fell to the Park Manager, rather thanbeing the responsibility of individual companies on the site.Reason for your plan being created?The plan was originally created at the request of several companies on thebusiness park. This was as a result of the heavy congestion in and around thebusiness park.What did your plan consist of?Promotion of car sharing (Kent journey share). Although no audit was evercarried out on parking (supply / demand).Arriva were asked to subsidies bus services, but this was not followed up asthe main concern was with highway infrastructure improvements.(It had originally been proposed that a new bridge could be constructed overthe M25, avoiding the need for traffic to access Jct 1A).The group of companies involved setup a mini focus group. This was quicklydisbanded when it became clear that Kent Highways wouldn’t be improvingthe local road infrastructure.The Highways Agency didn’t support the recommendations to improve theM25 junction that serves the site (improved signage). 150
  • How accessible is public transport?Fastrack runs through the site, and onto The Bridge development. The Trainis also a popular option. Arriva had once run services to the site, but thesewere cut when passenger numbers were reviewed.Parking enforcementThe site is on a private road, this makes it difficult to enforce. We’re looking atemploying a parking management company to issue enforcement notices.Problems encounteredThe biggest problem was a lack of support from companies to implementsustainable improvements. The original focus group stakeholders were onlyinterested in improvements designed to enhance access to the site by privatecar.It became clear that people do not understand what a green Travel Plan isabout. More work is required to educate people on alternative to the privatecar.A survey was conducted using KCC’s iTRACE system. The response ratewas very low. No follow up has ever been undertaken.KCC inputKCC were proactive, but occupiers could not see a resolution to the problemof avoiding gridlock so lacked motivation.Future plansThe original plan has never been reviewed. The business park still has somedevelopment to be undertaken, which may require further planning consent.The Travel Plan may need to be reviewed at this point.What would help with the introduction and compliance of existing TravelPlans?It would be easier if legislation required individual companies to manage theirown Travel Plans. This should have specific requirement. ….“you must”….Without this people would not be put off from driving.Your thoughts on the use of a parking levy to promote change?It would be difficult to introduce a parking levy as it’s my responsibility to makesure we maintain our occupancy rates. If we try to restrict parking, or chargefor parking, companies will simply find somewhere else to locate.Incentivising new companies with a free trial of public transport?Incentivising with free public transport for a week might make people use thebus / train, but it’s likely they’d return to using their car given the location ofthe business park. 151
  • Summary Lack of understanding: What is a green Travel Plan?; and What should it set out to achieve? No policy, or ‘stick’ to enforce change Lack of interest, possible as a result of time constraints Any enforcement needs to be at an individual company basis. Serious conflicts of interest when a management manages a Travel Plan.Site ThreeConsultant at Eureka Park, Ashford.Contact is a director at the company.Company offers Travel Plans as one of their services so they wrote their ownTravel Plan.It was decided that X would be the coordinator because he put it together, isvery interested in the process and it was practical for him to be coordinator.He is a senior manager so it is advantageous for him to be responsible. Theyhave over 20 employees and only 9 parking spaces.A key feature of the plan is information boards but employees can use theircomputers to check real time travel information. Instead they issue updates oncar parking utilisation.They do not use iTRACE as he finds it very clunky. Instead he uses the FireBook so when people sign in they also write down how they travelled so thisdata is logged every working day. However, they don’t make use of this datato encourage people to use alternative modes.When asked why he was only “neutral” about their success he said “how doyou measure success?” They have a commercial interest to use cars, forexample the building control section don’t car share because they need tocarry out site visits. This is one reason for poor employee motivation, plussome have young children they need to take to nursery etc.For encouragement – he car shares because of the cost of diesel andconvenience (i.e. someone else living nearby). He used to car share withsomeone who lived 4 miles away so he had to drive 8 miles so doesn’t think itreally counts as car sharing.The 9 spaces aren’t permitted but are a free for all. There is one car sharespace because this is the current demand, if more car shared they’d allocatemore spaces. He and one other employee live in Medway so park at Blue BellHill and car share down to Ashford. A new car park opened in September2011 and since then some employees have been paying the £400 per year. 152
  • Some employees double parked and were only blocking colleagues but werestill both clamped with a £200 release fee each. Since then no one has beendouble parking.In the summer some people use bikes and motorbikes.To improve the process he thinks the cost of fuel should be doubled so TravelPlans wouldn’t be needed. The car sharing website is OK but why would youshare with someone who is a bad driver? Travel Plans are very restrictive onnew developments in the current marketplace.When asked about travel statements being used for smaller sites he said thathe felt Travel Plans definitely had a place in larger sites. Whatever KCC donot everyone is like Graham Tanner, i.e. positive and willing to help. He saidhe’d had positive experiences with TfL, Essex and Norfolk but that the LondonBorough of Ealing was a nightmare. He said this is very much down to theindividuals you work with. As a consultancy they try to do the best for the sitebut some authorities have lost the plot and are abusive and obstructive.People need to be encouraging and willing to make small changes. Grahamis very good but others in Kent haven’t been as positive. Communication iskey.X said he can see the benefits as he uses them himself but he thinks there istoo much suggestion that we’ll all be fit using Plans. He thinks there should beless spin and more honesty. Most of our travel choices are down to ourupbringing, e.g. parents driving their children to school rather than walking.Site FourTransport Consultant at a supermarket, Maidstone.Contact is a consultant.Background: Company is the Transport Consultant for supermarket site inMaidstone. They were commissioned to create the Travel Plan for theplanning application and have since been asked to implement it. Theircontinuing involvement is on an intermittent basis, as the supermarket decidewhat they require.They created the Travel Plan for the purpose of the planning application. Thesite opened in Spring 2011. They met with KCC and the site coordinator (HRManager) in the store and carried out the post occupation survey in July/August 2011. They have since produced the information for the notice boardsto display in store.They have not had a great deal of involvement with the site since. However,subject to getting the go ahead from the supermarket, they intend to re-surveythe site annually, hand them the generated reports and update the informationboards. When asked what happens if they do not meet their targets as laidout in the Travel Plan, they responded that they have not ever really comeacross this problem with their Travel Plans so far; they would neverthelesscontinue to implement the plan and update the notice boards. 153
  • Consultancy involvement: Depends on what the organisation wants.Involvement can be for full 5 year monitoring period, or just for first year. Itcan also be intermittent, as and when the site desires action.Involvement from Site Coordinator: This is the HR Manager (often is withthis supermarket) and they helped to collect the surveys from staff (paperbased as no store Internet access for staff). The consultant then entered thispaper based info into iTRACE. The site coordinator also sticks the posterssent to them by the consultant onto the notice board.Benefit of Consultancies: They had involvement from the very start. Bycreating the Travel Plan for planning application, they have a good deal ofbackground knowledge about the site and agreements e.g. contributionsagreed for bus service- was forgotten about, but consultant made this happenas knew it was an agreement. However as they are not based in the store,they do not have regular contact with the store manager or employees and donot actually know how things are going. It relieves the work load on the storemanager however, whose main role is not to monitor the TP.Site FiveEducation, west Kent.Sustainability coordinator.She started the Travel Plan about a year ago but at the same time signed upto the Carbon Trust’s HEFCE Carbon Management Plan. This had a veryaggressive timescale and started in June (when teaching staff leave andfacilities staff are very busy) and had to be submitted by 16th December. So allresources were focused on that (she only works 3 days a week). They have 2issues – lack of public transport other than the bus and safeguarding whenconsidering car sharing. She would still like to do the Travel Plan and will pickit up once the CMP is complete.The CMP has a small section on travel and this is only on business mileagenot on commuting. Some other places are looking at commuting in their CMP,e.g. University of Greenwich but they have more public transport options. TheCollege do work with the local bus companies to make sure they run atsuitable times. 5 years ago when she joined there was a free bus service fromthe two nearest town stations but this was too expensive to subsidies so is nolonger offered. Staff wearing their badge on the bus do get a discount though.It was her idea to do the Travel Plan because she thought it was somethingthey should do, fuel prices were rising, and students can’t easily travel to thecollege.She approached KCC and was recommended to by someone who shereported to who had previously worked at KCC. Probably would have got toKCC by other means had she not known them. They don’t work with othercolleges in Kent in any kind of sustainability network but do tap into theEnvironmental Association for Universities and Colleges. Travel is different allacross Kent so hard to collaborate. For example, it is difficult to get tomeetings in Maidstone as the Park and Ride is on the other side of town. 154
  • Bus is the only option, it’s 5 miles to the nearest town. They do not encouragecycling because there is no cycle route and the A road the college is on isunlit, a lorry route and has no pavements. They want to include students intheir Travel Plan but the issue is safeguarding. She gave an example thatduring the snow an email was sent round that if any staff member sees astudent struggling to get home they cannot offer a lift, for the safety of bothparties. They have a wide range of students so what if a mature student carshared with a 16 year old?They are still working on the data of their CMP and have had help from theCarbon Trust to monitor and track progress but have to make assumptions.The business miles data captures mileage but fares does not distinguishbetween rail and air – carbon footprints of both are very different.The Travel Plan aims to minimise impact and offer suggestions to reduce trips,such as video conferencing, whereas the CMP is about energy efficiency onthe campus. This is the current priority to get an 84% reduction.As a coordinator she looked at other Travel Plans and found that reducing thecarbon footprint wasn’t a driving force for a lot of them. Plus the Collegedoesn’t have a lot of alternatives so their scope is limited.She used iTRACE to do a survey but had issues completing it. It wouldn’t letpeople leave anything empty even when it wasn’t applicable resulting inpeople inputting answers that weren’t correct. There were also technicalissues that meant students didn’t use it. Emails to the whole campus can onlybe sent by directors so had to get the Finance Director to send it out butpeople ignored that they had to reply to Sue and instead clicked “reply” so theFinance Director got lots of emails and probably wouldn’t be keen on doing itagain. There were too many irrelevant options, such as “do you use the tram”or “do you use the DLR” so it needs customising. People thought the Collegehad produced it and it wasn’t very good so they aren’t keen on using it again.Nothing could persuade her to use public transport because of the time. Noalternatives other than the car. It’s in a rural area and people attend from ruralareas; someone she knows gets the bus at 6am to get in at 8:30.She will contact KCC again when she looks at the Travel Plan and intends totake it forward. For example she’d like to work further with bus companies fordiscounts etc. to make it a palatable alternative for staff. Students are anissue so she needs to work through this.They don’t have a budget for their Travel Plan.Kent is very rural so transport issues are endemic. It’s a case of chicken andegg. They did bid for funding for an electric bus and charging points in thevillage but were unsuccessful. She would like to have electric estate vehiclesbut many aren’t a viable alternative and a converted milk float doesn’t conveythe right image. 155
  • Site SixHigher education, Kent-wide.Travel Plan coordinator + parking manager.Experience: X worked for DfT and DFDS as well as Medway Council. Sheintroduced the funding into local authorities to spend on School Travel Plansfrom DfT. She therefore has experience in both policy and administering TPsdirectly. At the university, she is also responsible for all parking related to theUniversity. These roles are complimentary yet conflicting = balancing act. TheUni earns money through selling parking permits, yet wants to restrict them toimprove congestion and adhere to their Travel Plan.Uni has a Travel Plan for each campus.Restricted parking on site. They introduced exclusion zones for studentsacross Canterbury city.They discourage students from bringing a car to Canterbury at all, especiallyto campus.Subsidised transport use-on going work with Stagecoach to provideservices to students. They have an arrangement with Stagecoach to givestudents and staff reduced rates. A bus pass for East Kent = £155 approx forthe academic year and £55 approx for the summer vacation. There is aregular bus service to the campus from the city centre (every 7 mins). Theyarranged with Stagecoach to put on “The Grocery Bus” which goes to Asdaand Sainsbury’s, Hales Place and the campus. It is a circular route operatingon Saturdays for the students. Staff are offered discounted bus travel too(£365 Megarider, £575 gold Megarider and can pay out of salary). During theexam periods additional bus services are put on by Stagecoach e.g. forSaturday exams.Changes to travel behaviour: 50% reduction in traffic travelling through site.Uni campus has a public highway running through the centre of it. It is verydifficult to enforce certain restrictions therefore. The recent changes to trafficat Canterbury Westgate seemed to have caused people to cut through thecampus more now however….Moodle- conducts online studies. These are done anyway as part of widerUniversity improvements by Telecoms; these studies help with their TravelPlan.A Travel Plan coordinator would normally set up a working group, but theUniversity senior staff did not wish for this to happen. Teresa therefore worksindependently, but has a great deal of support by senior staff. Teresa had agood rapport with the Student Union and many people are keen to help herwith her activities.Survey: She carried out an online survey of staff and students. However outof 18 000 students only 2 responded! She suspects this is because the surveywas sent out at the same time as other electronic surveys by the University 156
  • (academic and Union). Students are frequently receiving uni surveys and thetiming has to be very good to not conflict with these. The staff response wasgood however. X will re peat the survey in the coming months.Improvements: She suggests it would be really useful to have a catalogue/directory of useful contacts/ companies which provide services for potentialTravel Plan/ Eco activities. - Company - What it providesE.g. electric bicycle hire, road show services, eco- driving simulators etc.(Companies which provide such services, which could be useful in organisingawareness and campaign events, such as Walk to Work Week and CyclingWeek). We should invite companies to be put on the list (not recommendthem, but say these companies exist and could be used). For events such asa road show it would also be useful to give approx. costs and ideas. GetGraham and X to add to list and open up to all businesses within the county.Alternative would be to have a list of typical events/ event archive and then alist of services/ resources which could be useful under each event.E.g. Cycling Week: ABC provides Brompton hire, XYZ provides cycle shelteradvice, 123 provides road show organisation service.Many businesses just want to “tick the box” in their TP; by providing such acatalogue/ archive it would make it easy for businesses to organise/ paysomeone to organise a promotional event and “tick the box”. KCC couldperiodically ask a site “Why don’t you hold a Cycle to Work promotionalevent?” or similar, and offer this catalogue as an aid. Need to make it easy forsites to “tick the box”, and they will take steps to do this. As most “sitecoordinators’ ” main job role is not the management of their Travel Plan, weneed to make it easy for them. 157