Develop, implement & review

Develop, implement & review

1. Determine who will develop the travel plan

The first step is to determine if the resources to prepare a travel plan are available internally.

If the required skills aren’t available in-house, it may be appropriate to engage a consultant to assist.

Many transport planning and traffic engineering consultancies offer travel planning services. 

2. Conduct a site audit and gather data

The second step involves conducting an audit of the site and the transport networks that service it, in order to understand the current situation, potential problems and likely solutions. At a minimum, Council requires that mode-split data for trains, buses, bicycles, walking, car share, motorcycle, car (passenger) and car (driver) are provided. Depending on the location of the development, data for ferries and light rail may also be relevant and should be provided.

The site audit will need to consider:

  • Number of people travelling to and from the site each day and the mode they use (though this may be an estimate if the site is a new development)
  • Destinations that people are travelling to/from (note that this may not be known until the development is occupied)
  • Parking availability and costs
  • Public transport services, the frequency of these and destinations to which they run
  • Public transport costs
  • Safety and accessibility of public transport stops and stations
  • Availability of information about public transport
  • Connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, and safety of walking and cycling routes
  • End of trip facilities for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Location of nearby car share pods
  • Opportunities for improving access to and uptake of sustainable transport options 

Workplaces should also look to review any relevant company policies to understand what incentives they create. This may include:

  • What is the policy/framework regarding the use of onsite parking spaces? What costs are attached to these parking spaces?
  • What is the policy/framework relating to fleet vehicles? Do they create incentives that encourage staff to drive to work?
  • What is the policy/framework relating to taxis? Do perceived travel time savings result in taxi use being preferred over public transport?
  • Are mileage allowances relatively low or high? Are these creating incentives for use of a particular mode?
  • Do any incentives exist to encourage sustainable transport modes? 

For residential developments, there may be building regulations which impact on mode choice. For example, rules not allowing bicycles in lifts or storage of bicycles in common areas. Certain actions may also unintentionally affect travel behaviour – such as poorly located or inadequately secured bicycle parking. A site audit should consider what kinds of travel behaviours might be discouraged or encouraged due to existing actions and policies. 

3. Develop objectives and targets

Objectives and targets are essential components of a travel plan as they help define goals.

When developing objectives, site context is important. For example, if a building is located close to a cycle path, increasing the number of cycle trips may be identified as a key objective.

Targets must be specific, reasonable and achievable, and should be associated with a measurable improvement in mode share. They need to be realistic but ambitious, and must be time-bound so that progress can be assessed against targets. 

Objectives and targets should also consider any overarching State Government or Council policies or plans. For example, if a planning document identifies a mode share target for the area this should be addressed within the travel plan. 

4. Outline actions and a promotion and marketing strategy

Actions are the core of a travel plan. Actions outline what strategies will be employed to create incentives to use sustainable transport modes – they are the ‘how’ of a travel plan.

Travel plans need to have a variety of actions that guide strategies relating to promotion, facilities and policies to create incentives for sustainable travel behaviour. If actions are to be staged, a staging strategy should be outlined in the plan.

Travel planning actions should align closely with the objectives and targets of the travel plan – it is important to choose actions that will result in progress towards targets. 

Strategic promotion of travel plans and associated initiatives tends to result in higher uptake of sustainable travel modes.

Travel plans should be made available to all stakeholders, and actions need to be promoted to ensure that all staff, visitors and/or residents are aware of the initiatives.

Promotion will improve uptake by providing stakeholders with information about upcoming events, changes to facilities and new policies. 

5. Identify resources and governance

A travel plan is not a one-off document – it is a process of ongoing implementation, review and improvement. 

Executive level support and commitment is essential. Workplace travel plans should identify the executive level position that will hold overall responsibility for the plan, whilst residential travel plans need to recognise the role and responsibilities of the body corporate and/or owners association. 

It will be necessary to appoint a coordinator to oversee the process over time. This might be a single person who can act as a Travel Plan Coordinator, or a committee of people who can work together to implement the travel plan. If the appropriate person is not yet known, consider attaching the role to a particular position in the organisation or building.  Attaching the responsibility of implementation to a particular person or position is a necessary element of any travel plan approved by Council. 

For workplaces, the staff member who is appointed as a Travel Plan Coordinator should be someone who has a good overview of the activities of the organisation. This doesn’t mean they need to be a senior manager – a suitable coordinator might be someone in HR, OH&S, sustainability or facilities management. 

For residential developments, the travel plan coordinator might be a member of the Body Corporate, appointed on an annual basis, a staff member from the managing agency, or a motivated resident.

Responsibilities of the Travel Plan Coordinator will include:

  • Coordinating implementation efforts;
  • Conducting surveys or other data collection processes to measure progress;
  • Communicating the travel plan to stakeholders;
  • Coordinating events to promote awareness of the plan and associated initiatives; and
  • Coordinating marketing and promotional programs. 

The Coordinator will also be responsible for monitoring, reviewing and updating the travel plan over time. It is likely that coordinators will require assistance from ‘champions’ to promote specific actions and encourage the uptake of initiatives. 

The Travel Plan will require funding to support implementation. Some actions may already be in place and relevant infrastructure, such as cycle parking and showers, will be provided through the development itself. The Travel Plan should identify existing and additional resources required to successfully implement the plan.

6. Submit the travel plan to Council

Once the travel plan has been prepared it should be ready to submit to Council for approval.

The City’s Transport Planning team is responsible for reviewing travel plans and may provide feedback or advice about how the plan could be improved, prior to being satisfied that it meets the intent of the development consent condition. 

7. Implement the travel plan

The Travel Plan Coordinator or Committee will be required to oversee the implementation of the actions of the travel plan. These might not all be implemented at the same time, but may be staged throughout time as appropriate. There may be some crucial actions that are implemented immediately, while others might take longer to plan and develop.

Before implementing actions, make sure relevant stakeholders are on board. For example, if the travel plan involves reviewing company policies and proposing changes, relevant members of the senior management team will need to be on board to sanction and approve such changes. 

8. Monitor and review the travel plan

Monitoring and reviewing a travel plan is one of the most critical components of the travel planning process. It is crucial to understand whether – and how – the travel plan is having an impact on mode share. Council requires that on-going monitoring is conducted for a minimum of five years; annual reviews may need to be submitted to Council to enable ongoing monitoring.

A building or organisation should aim to collect new data on an annual (or bi-annual) basis to understand how mode share has changed over time. This will help in understanding whether progress is being made. Surveys can also help to identify which actions are having an impact on people’s travel behaviour, and whether some are more effective than others. It might also help to identify ongoing or unresolved issues and barriers that are preventing greater improvement. 

Once the data has been updated, the targets and actions of the travel plan will need to be reviewed. The review should consider:

  • Are the targets still realistic? Are they still ambitious? Should they be updated?
  • Is the building struggling to achieve particular targets? What are the likely reasons for this?
  • Are there any gaps with regards to actions?
  • What is preventing further improvement on mode share, and how can this be addressed?

The steps outlined above should not be considered as a linear process, but rather an on-going cycle. Travel planning requires regular review and adjustment – a review may reveal the need to reconsider objectives or targets, or to add new actions to create greater incentives for the uptake of sustainable transport choices. 

Last updated: Friday, 15 August 2014