We have promoted greater take-up of travel plans in four main ways: through best practice research, dissemination and provision of expert advice; through the funding of pilots and the evaluation of new techniques or approaches; through providing pump-prime funding to encourage local authorities to promote and invest in travel planning and to support the work of non-government organisations; and through fostering and supporting travel planning through tax incentives, local transport plans and the planning process.
Major initiatives have included: £140 million investment in the travelling to school initiative, which is working towards having travel plans in all schools by 2010; the three sustainable travel towns project, which has seen how walking, cycling and public transport use increased by at least 10 per cent while car trips have fallen by 10 per cent; the six cycling demonstration towns; and the National Business Travel Network to increase the take-up of travel plans among major businesses.
Our approach has been to encourage voluntary promotion and implementation of travel plans, rather than legislating to secure them. Research has shown that travel plans prove most effective and have greatest longevity when they generate a voluntary change in behaviour. However, with regard to new developments that are likely to have a major impact, we adopt a regulatory approach. In such cases, the granting of planning permission for the development to proceed is now generally linked with a formal requirement to prepare a travel plan. Enforcement for travel plans resulting from planning requirements is the responsibility of the relevant planning authority. We will shortly be publishing guidance on using the planning process to secure travel plans, which will cover how to ensure that enforcement is effective.