Taking Action

Your travel planning activities are all about using the Scottish government travel hierarchy as guidance, the aim is that decisions about everyday journeys should be taken in the light of the following:

  • Can you prevent travel? Home working
  • If you can’t prevent travel, can you walk or cycle?
  • If you can’t walk or cycle, can you use public transport?
  • If you can’t use public transport, can you lift share?
  • If you can’t share a vehicle, only then be the sole occupant of a vehicle.

Looking at all the different modes of travel, you will find information, ideas and practical resources to help you set up and run travel planning initiatives within your organisation.

We’ll point you in the right direction, giving you plenty of food for thought and allowing you to decide which ideas/ initiatives will work best for your particular organisation.

Funnel image of 'Prioritising Sustainable Transport' including walking and wheeling, then cycling, then public transport, then taxis and shared transport and Private car at the bottom.


Walking is free, doesn’t require specialist equipment or training and is generally a very safe method of
travel.  Walking is a great way of keeping fit and active without having to dedicate time to exercise as it can
often be fitted into people's daily routine. For Travel Plan Coordinators it's about trying to encourage
people to build walking into at least part of the journey to work or even as part of a journey on
Benefits to be gained not only impact positively on the health and well being of the individual but also
have knock-on effects for the environment (through reduced traffic noise, air pollution, energy use and
carbon emissions) and in stimulating local economies by encouraging use of local shops and services
and reducing traffic congestion.
The organisations, 'Living Streets' and 'Paths For All' have produced an excellent report that covers
everything you'll ever need to know about walking. It is called  'Walkipedia'.  There are many ways to encourage people to walk including fun challenges and events (links to which can be found on this website under Events and the Useful Links section).

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Ideas on how to encourage walking within your workplace
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Cycling is a good way of keeping fit and active without having to dedicate time to exercise as it can often be fitted into a daily routine

Fitness levels of regular cyclists are equal to those of people 10 years younger and cycling 20 miles a
week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than half that of a non-cyclist who takes no regularexercise.

A person cycling along a canal.

Cycling is also 70 times more energy efficient than the average car and substantially cheaper to buy
and maintain! 2 kilograms of carbon are saved for every short journey made by bike rather than car.
Also, cycling can quite often be quicker than public transport or even a car. In an increasing number
of towns and cities across the country, the needs of cyclists are now better catered for with off-road
routes and cycle lanes etc. As a result, cycling to work has increased significantly in some places. 10
years ago only about 1% of the working population regularly cycled, nowadays, the figure is
approximately 3% and in some places is considerably higher.

The Scottish Government recently published its  Cycling Action Plan  which sets out a vision of 10%
of everyday journeys to be made by bicycle by 2020.

Cycling by design – Transport Scotland - provides guidance for cycling infrastructure design on all
roads, streets and paths in Scotland. It aims to ensure that cycling is a practical and attractive choice
for the everyday and occasional journeys of all people, particularly new, returning or less confident
users. The guidance supports the integration of cycling with people walking and wheeling in a holistic
and attractive environment that serves the needs of all users, so that designs can facilitate the
implementation of the Scottish Government’s Sustainable Travel Hierarchy.

Person cycling along a road in the bike lane.

Cycling Scotland is Scotland’s national cycling charity, aiming to establish cycling as an accessible
and practical travel option for people across Scotland.

The Cycling Friendly Employer is a nationally recognised programme that provides an award scheme
and funding to help organisations make it easier for their staff to cycle to work and at work. Find out
more about the resources, training and funding support that Cycling Scotland can offer workplaces.

For more helpful advice, take a look at our guidance notes :

Public transport

Public transport should play as big a part as possible in the Travel Plan strategy to encourage change
to more sustainable modes of transport, especially for journeys of over 2 miles. Timetable and journey planning information is readily available for both bus and rail journeys.  The National Rail and Trainline  websites offer comprehensive timetable and journey planning information for rail journeys.
The  Traveline Scotland  website allows bus users to access departure times from specific bus stops
as well as journey planning and timetabling information.

Find more information of public transport providers on the Useful Links Page.

A photo of a bus stopping at a bus stop.
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Ideas on how to encourage bus and train use
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Scottish Government Priorities : Climate Change - Scotland’s ambitious climate change legislation
sets a target date for net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045.

Scotland is committing to net-zero emissions targets by 2040, with key focus on a 20% reduction in car kilometres by 2030 as laid out in the Transport Scotland Route Map .

Driving costs are increasing.

A blonde woman wearing a blue scarf, white jacket, black trousers and black shoes is smiling at the camera as she is about to enter a white van, with "Stirling Council" written on it. This is in a car park.

Car clubs  can significantly contribute towards achieving government policy objectives, including
those related to reducing private car dependency and use, decarbonising road transport in Scotland
and supporting investment in walking, cycling and public transport use. Car Clubs can be useful both
for individuals, by providing low cost access to a car or van and for organisations by providing an
alternative to pool cars and grey fleet.  

For a list of car clubs clubs and their operating areas visit  www.como.org.uk  or contact them
at  scotland@como.org.uk  for more advice on how a car club could work as part of your workplace
sustainable travel measures.

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Information around reducing single occupancy car use
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Lift sharing

Lift sharing is when two or more people use the same vehicle to make all or part of a journey together.

Sharing has become a popular way to keep fuel, parking fees, vehicle depreciation and other costs
down. It can be both formal, where journeys are organised through a formal lift share scheme, or
informal, where friends, colleagues or family members agree to travel together. Lift sharing is also an effective way to reduce congestion and demand for parking spaces. It also helps cut energy use and
keep CO2 and other emissions down.

Two people smiling in the car, sat beside eachother.
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Info about supporting lift sharing within your organisation
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Business travel

Business travel is often necessary but it is important that organisations challenge themselves on the
need, frequency and mode of travel.

From a sustainability point of view, business travel is a complex issue. It’s important for building
relationships in business. In certain circumstances, meeting people face to face is the most effective
and appropriate way of achieving connection.

A person sitting on the train looking at a laptop.

However business travel is damaging to the environment and can be a strain on the health and wellbeing of employees. At the same time, reducing travel can help reduce business costs. As an organisation you need to make the right trade-offs for your business within these considerations.

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Ideas to reduce the level of business travel
within your organisation
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Collaborative mobility (Co-Mobility) provides people with alternative options to private car & bike ownership but with similar levels of independence.

Co-mobility complements public transport and active travel and it is worth considering as part of your organisation's workplace travel planning measures. Shared transport means using shared transport resources such as car clubs, bike share or ride share.

Two people loading boxes into a van on a street.

Co-Mobility services rely more heavily upon the digital infrastructure such as location services and mobile
internet than traditional transport options. They also tend to be more flexible and responsive in terms of their
ability to develop and react to changing demands.

Co-mobility typically involves either sharing access to a vehicle of some sort for an independent trip:

• Cars: car clubs (“carsharing” outside UK), automated rental, peer-to-peer rental and fractional (shared) car
• Bikes: bike sharing and public bike hire
• Scooter sharing

or sharing a journey in the same vehicle:

• ride sharing (or “2+ car sharing”, and often “carsharing”)
• taxi sharing
• “on-demand” mini buses

For more information on the concept of co- mobility and how this could work for your organisation visit  COMO
UK  or contact them at scotland@como.org.uk where they can help you to understand all the possible options
open to your employees and point you in the right direction.

Flexible working patterns

Flexible working arrangements have often been something that organisations have been wary of and
only considered for parents/carers, however the COVID-19 crisis has forced employers across all
sectors to adopt some form of remote working and for many they are seeing that it doesn't have to
result in a drop in productivity.

Going forward, the way we work, across all sectors and sizes of businesses will change forever.

A person working from home at a desk looking at a computer.

Remote working through the cloud will increasingly become the norm rather than the exception.
Becoming an integral part of business continuity planning going forward for all businesses - not just
the biggest organisations. 

Flexible working arrangements, including remote working and hybrid working models can be a key
part of an organisation's travel planning options.  Reducing the need to travel, limiting mileage.
Looking at when and if travel is required as well as how you travel as part of your workplace travel
planning measures.