Friday, 9 September 2016

Travel Plans - Cycle, walk, share, ride (Mark Jones)

The aim of an official Travel Plan is to support the Government's mission to achieve sustainable developments and reduce single-occupancy cars by suggesting the accessibility and benefits of alternative, greener and healthier modes of sustainable transport.

Under the Government's National Planning Policy, section 4 is about Promoting sustainable transport - green is good but sense and pragmatism must prevail. 

Getting the balance between objectivity and deliverability is the primary role of the TP Coordinator.

Paragraph 34 states:  Plans and decisions should ensure developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised.

Para 35 goes on;  ... developments should be located and designed where practical to:
  •  accommodate the efficient delivery of goods and supplies;
  • give priority to pedestrian and cycle movements and have access to high quality public transport facilities;
  • create safe and secure layouts which minimise conflict between traffic and cyclists or pedestrians, avoiding street clutter and where appropriate establishing home zones.

And 36 gives us the Travel Plan: A key tool to facilitate this will be a Travel Plan. All developments which generate significant amounts of movement should be required to provide a Travel Plan.

Enter stage left - TP Coordinators, part of the JMS Group.

Critically, the requirements of the Travel Plan don't end with addressing the issues in development and facilitating practical applications throughout, but communicating the benefits and availability of sustainable transport alternatives to the new home owners.

TP Coordinators (operating from the JMS offices in Chelmsford) offer the following Travel Plan services:
  • Travel Welcome Packs.
  •  Travel Plan Framework to support planning application.
  •  Promoting sustainable modes of travel. Monitoring, surveying and analysing the performance of Travel Plans.
  •  Liaising with key stakeholders such as local authorities & public transport providers.
  •  Negotiate with local suppliers such as cycle stores.
  •  Manage Travel Plan budgets and administrate incentive vouchers.
  •  Organise Travel Plan steering groups.
  •  Personalised Travel Plans.

This takes the responsibility and legwork away from the developer putting compliance with the NP Policy in the safe hands of a JMS Group service. 
A generic leaflet (right) from TP Coordinators is intended to sew the seed of alternative transport as viable options for new residents.

It reads: 

Cycle, walk, share, ride
getting to know your new area, the healthy, friendly way.

And we suggest: 

Cycling is not just a healthy pastime, it’s a great way to get around your local area and to see sights you would miss when travelling by car. More and more cycle routes, parking facilities and safe learning schemes are being provided by local authorities who care about their communities. 

Hop on a bike and see for yourself - it’s practical, fun and healthy.

It’s not all Peter Kay and Sian Gibson when it comes to car share schemes. You can save money, cut Co2 emissions and make friends without having your own BBC1 sitcom. There are many regional and national schemes to join safely if you can’t make arrangements locally yourself. Just Google ‘lift share’ or ‘car share’ and your region and give it a go.

If you are able  - just walk. If you want to see more of your local area and its natural as well as urban environments, get a local map, join a local group, and get out there. Urban walking has grown into a huge and friendly ‘welcome all’ national pursuit. The dynamics of walking and the health benefits to be gained are vast and progressive. Just Google ‘walking groups’.

Park, hop on a bus ... and ride  - it’s as simple as that. Most towns and cities have good Park & Ride facilities to save you getting stuck in town centre traffic, clogging up the roads and breathing unhealthy emissions. If there isn’t an official Park & Ride, make your own. Find a suitable bus route with local parking and save yourself the urban hassle.

The leaflet includes some useful links to national schemes that may be useful to new homeowners who are also new to the area. These include:

When it comes to creating a Travel Plan bespoke to a regional development, the plot thickens. Urban, sub-urban, rural developments have different considerations; different environmental impact scenarios to deal with; and different levels of accessibility to viable travel alternatives to 'the car'.

Let's take a brief look at Prospect Place, Framlingham. 
There are no Park & Ride schemes in Framlingham, but links to Ipswich and Norwich may be useful. 

Suffolk on board is a fantastic website that has already thought through the needs of the communities within its area of responsibility (click the image right).
The same site provides detailed information on bus routes, which help Travel Planners and residents alike: thank goodness for Google, taking the pain out of planning and research. Promoting walking as a healthy option is a good social responsibility, though has little impact of rural logistics. 

If you really are totally new to an area though and do want to take up or extend walking as a health option - this is the site for you:
The creation of a Travel Plan webpage for the development is essential. It should include walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing information for existing and prospective residents of the development, including the integration of real-time information links to bus services available on site.

Researching, packaging and presenting advice to the stakeholder, developer and residents alike is crucial to successful, effective travel planning. Every development is different. Every development needs expert support. 

If you would like more information on Travel Planning and the services of TP Coordinator, please call me, Mark Jones, on 01245 905886 or click the image below.

1 comment: