Getting Started

A Travel Plan is a package of practical measures tailored to the needs of individual sites and aimed at promoting more sustainable travel choices and reducing reliance on the car for both commuting and business journeys.

The aim of a Travel Plan is to help reduce the impact of travel on the environment. A Travel Plan can encourage greater levels of physical activity, can cut congestion around a location, improve neighbourhood relations and they also make good business sense; saving money both for employers and employees.

Is a travel plan a finished document?

No! A Travel Plan is a living document and will develop as years go on. It must adapt to the changing needs of your organisation as well as provide monitoring and evaluation of measures implemented. The Travel Plan is definitely not a document to sit on a shelf and gather dust, it is a working document.

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The Key Benefits of a Travel Plan

Travel planning experience in the UK and Europe over the past 20 years has shown that the benefits accruing from a Travel Plan can be extensive.

The benefits that are most important to your organisation will depend mainly on local circumstances. Your organisation, employees, visitors, customers and the local community all stand to gain.

Benefits to the organisation: A healthier, wealthier business

Save money

By reviewing car parking policies and employee business travel, considerable savings can be made as an employer. Replacing internal work practices with greener alternatives such as access to tele and video conferencing can all have a positive impact on the bottom line. Employers can also benefit from reductions in National Insurance contributions through salary sacrifice bicycle purchase schemes.

Smarter working / way to increase productivity

Fewer cars on the road eases congestion, cutting commuting and business travel time and freeing up valuable time for us all. Encouraging employees to use public transport allows them to make more of the down time of travelling. Employees can spend the time working, on the phone or relaxing, meaning they arrive refreshed and better prepared.

For private sector organisations winning future work

Travel Plans can show extra environmental credibility when competing with other organisations for public and private sector contracts. As well as helping to reduce global climate changing emissions, Travel Plans can help reduce local air quality problems from the likes of Nitrogen Dioxide and Particulate emissions.

Continued funding for public sector organisations

Increasingly, central government would like public sector organisations to demonstrate their commitment to reducing carbon emissions. Measures in a Travel Plan can help towards this.

Organisations with a Climate Reduction Commitment (CRC)

An actively implemented Travel Plan can count towards an organisation’s target reductions in carbon emissions.


By addressing the impact your employees are having on the road network and possibly parking in the surrounding streets you can be viewed in good light by other employers, the local authority, the local press and importantly, the general public and environmental bodies.

Planning permission

Many employers in Scotland are now required to submit Travel Plans to their local authorities before they are granted planning permission. Having a good working document and providing evidence of commitment to the Travel Plan can considerably help with obtaining planning permission.

BREEAM accreditation

BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings. BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. It is one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building's environmental performance.  A Travel Plan is seen as a key measure of performance within the  BREEAM assessment and so a vital element to consider when seeking  BREEAM accreditation.

Value of land

Ever considered the value of the tar mac car park you have? This land could be of great value, particularly if you are in a city centre location. Some organisations estimate the potential value of a single parking space could be in the region of tens of thousands should this be sold to developers.

A nicer place to work

Having parking issues and an unattractive built up area surrounding your workplace, can be detrimental to your employee recruitment. Also, cleaner air, safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists and relaxing green areas can all reduce stress levels at work.

Benefits to individuals/employees: A healthier, happier workforce

Save money

Employees can save money by making more sustainable travel choices. Car sharing can save individuals vast amounts of money and cycling and walking is free! Employees may also find public transport is not only cheaper but allows them time to relax on the journey to and from work.


The health benefits from travelling sustainably can help employee meet their recommended weekly exercise targets as well as save money! Cycling and walking are both low impact exercises that can be included as part of the working day. Employees travelling by bus can simply get off one stop earlier and increase their walking distance gradually.


People spend several days of their lives sitting in traffic. Not only does this waste both working and personal time but it’s extremely stressful. By providing employees with travel choices which make their commute easier, you can reduce their stress levels. This has considerable implications for reducing rates of absenteeism.

Benefits to the environment

Less traffic and congestion means less pollution, lower Co2 emissions, fewer road accidents and the potential for more green areas. This benefits everyone as well as our future generations.

The direct benefits of travel planning can include:

  • More car sharing
  • More cycling and walking
  • More use of public transport
  • More flexible/home working
  • Greater use of telecommunications in preference to physical travel
  • Less single occupancy car use
What is more, Travel Plan policies and actions can integrate with several corporate policy areas including:
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Environmental Management
  • Occupational Health
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Occupational health
  • Health and safety