Company Travel Plans

A company travel plan (CTP) is "a strategy for an organisation to reduce its transportation impacts and to influence the travel behaviour of its employees, suppliers, visitors and customers" (Rye, 2002). Very often, the travel plan focuses on employee travel behaviour.

CTPs are also referred to as Employer Transport Plans and have in the past been known as Green Commuter Plans or Green Transport Plans. The term CTP is UK parlance. Elsewhere in Europe CTPs are referred to as site based mobility management. The phrase mobility management alone refers to more than a CTP; it is an umbrella term encompassing all attitudinal and behavioural measures which can include information provision. In the US CTPs are known as transportation demand management (TDM). As with mobility management, TDM can be an umbrella term for more than just a CTP.

CTPs consist of a package of measures, which are implemented to reduce solo car driving. A ride sharing scheme is a common measure. CTPs should have a number of common elements. These elements are a co-ordinator within the company (ideally full time), communication with staff, a staff travel survey (to identify travel patterns and potentially useful measures) and monitoring. Many organisations include incentives to take up alternatives and some also initiate disincentives. The stages involved in changing travel patterns through a CTP are the same generic stages of behaviour change discussed under individualised marketing campaigns to reduce car use.

Organisations introduce CTPs of their own volition to tackle parking shortages, improve accessibility, solve staff recruitment and retention problems, comply with planning regulations or in the case of some public sector organisations, comply with government directives. Organisations can also save money in the long term. This could be achieved by replacing company cars with pool vehicles for example, or reducing the kilometres travelled for business mileage through telecommunications.

Demand impacts are usually in terms of reductions in car use and increase in other modes (depending on availabilty). The impacts are normally incremental over time, and can generate increases in supply of alternatives to the car.

Terminology

A company travel plan (CTP) is "a strategy for an organisation to reduce its transportation impacts and to influence the travel behaviour of its employees, suppliers, visitors and customers" (Rye, 2002). Very often, the travel plan focuses on employee travel behaviour.

CTPs are also referred to as Employer Transport Plans and have in the past been known as Green Commuter Plans or Green Transport Plans. The word "Green" has been dropped as an organisations motivation to implement a travel plan is rarely environmental. This is despite transport policy promoting CTPs as a means of reducing negative environmental impacts of road vehicles.

The term CTP is UK parlance. Elsewhere in Europe CTPs are referred to as site based mobility management. The phrase mobility management alone refers to more than a CTP; it is an umbrella term encompassing all attitudinal and behavioural measures which can include information provision. In the US CTPs are known as transportation demand management (TDM). As with mobility management, TDM can be an umbrella term for more than just a CTP.

CTPs consist of a package of measures, which are implemented to reduce solo car driving. The choice and combination of measures varies from one organisation to another. A ride sharing scheme is a common measure. Regardless of the organisation in which a CTP is implemented and the choice of measures, CTPs should have a number of common elements. These elements are a co-ordinator within the company (ideally full time), communication with staff, a staff travel survey (to identify travel patterns and potentially useful measures) and monitoring. The communications should raise awareness amongst staff of the need to reduce car use and discuss the measures to be implemented. Allowing staff input to the choice of measures and how they are phased in generates a sense of ownership and commitment to follow through and reduce their car use. Many organisations include incentives to take up alternatives; some also initiate disincentives for car use and all should celebrate successes to maintain changes in travel behaviour. The changes in travel patterns (successes) can be identified through monitoring and such evidence will also help justify future plans.

The stages involved in changing travel patterns through a CTP are the same generic stages of behaviour change discussed under individualised marketing campaigns to reduce car use.

Styles of CTP

The style of CTP is a function of an organisations culture and the measures it implements. Many organisations have a strong car culture, which they are unwilling to challenge. Thus, anything which could be perceived as a threat to car use may not be implemented. This could be one reason why ride sharing is so popular. Other organisations may not have communications structures which easily facilitate negotiation with staff, which could make potentially unpopular measures such as disincentives difficult to implement.

The secondary outcomes a company may seek from reduced car use can also influence the style of a plan. The primary reason for a plan may be to improve accessibility to help solve recruitment and retention problems. However, the organisation may choose to focus on measures that will also improve health and potentially increase productivity and reduce absenteeism.

CTP Measures

Mode

Measure

Overall for whole plan

Travel co-ordinator

Promotion and publicity

Implementation process, e.g. steering group

Staff travel survey

Walking

Improved lighting and walkways

Incentives, e.g. vouchers for sports shops*

Crossing in/adjacent to site

Cycling

Changing/shower facilities

Pool cycles

Bicycle loan scheme*

Secure cycle parking

Discount purchases of cycles and equipment*

Public transport

Provision of public transport information

Access to journey planner

Discounted season tickets, paid for by operator or interest free loans from company*

Liase with local operators to provide new services

Ride sharing

Database matching service based on travel survey which identified potential ride share partners

Priority parking spaces near building entrance*

Guaranteed ride home (free taxi)

Parking

Reduce parking supply

Ration parking through permit allocation

Charge for parking

New conditions of employment

Flexible working hours*

Telecommuting

Company car initiatives phased out/altered to pool cars

Changes to travel expenses, e.g. payments for cycling*

Other

Minibus linking site to public transport termini, local towns and/or other company sites

Individualised travel plans for the journey to work

Source: Rye 2002 with adaptations.

* Measures that can be incentives. Incentives commonly have a financial element. However, this is not essential. Introduction of flexible working hours could be communicated as an incentive as employees will have the flexibility to work around possible public transport delays, additionally, it is an improvement in working conditions, which could mitigate other less popular measures.

There are a number of variations on CTPs, primarily school travel plans (STPS) and hospital travel plans (HTPs).

School Travel Plans

School busSTPs differ from CTPs in a number of ways. Firstly, there are many more pupils than staff, thus measures are targeted at pupil transport. STPs are more likely in schools in congested urban areas where there is little drop off space or schools where many pupils are driven to school. These are often primary schools. The key elements of an STP are the same as a CTP. However, communications will be with children in the classroom and parents through letters home and school meetings.

Measures to encourage walking and cycling are often similar to those implemented in CTPs, but may include road safety and safe cycling courses. These are well established programmes in many schools with support from local authorities. A walking measure unique to schools is the 'walking bus'. Many parents are reluctant to allow younger children to walk to school alone, thus one or more adults (usually parents) walk their own children to school, collecting others en route.

Public transport measures tend to be engineering measures to facilitate vehicles pulling into the school safely. These facilities will also benefit any existing school bus services which may be absorbed into the plan. Working with operators can also enable routes to be altered to serve schools and possibly the provision of discount travel cards.

Measures relating to car use could include car pooling organised along the principles of the 'walking bus' described above. Parking regulations and/or restrictions can also be implemented in and around the school.

Hospital Transport Plans

Hospital, accident and emergencyAnother variant is the HTP, which includes measures targeted at patients, especially out patients and visitors, as well as staff. The communications and travel survey element of the plan can be particularly difficult with regard to patients and visitors. For most people, hospital attendance is hopefully not a frequent or long term activity, thus, where car use is the habitual mode per se, that is likely to be the default choice. Thus, communications need to reach along way outside of the hospital such that potential patients and visitors are aware of alternatives (or where to obtain the relevant information) when the need arises. This work may be beyond the time and budget of many HTPs, thus they may rely on more general travel awareness and/or individualised marketing campaigns in their catchment area. Nevertheless, the travel survey can include existing visitors and patients (where appropriate).

The measures implemented through an HTP are similar to CTPs in relation to staff, as well as patients and visitors. All of these groups can benefit from re-routed bus services, as well as walking and cycling measures. Parking restrictions and regulations around the site can dissuade visitors from driving. Extended visiting hours can spread demand and make using public transport easier. Working with ambulance services or other community transport providers to supply collective out patient transport is another option.

Charging

CTPs do not include charging by definition, however, certain measures implemented through the plan may include charging. The introduction of parking charges is the obvious example. The charge can be ring-fenced to provide alternatives or incentives.

Technology

The technology needed to implement a CTP is minimal. At the most basic level a database to analyse staff travel surveys and/or operate a ride sharing scheme is all that is needed.

Optional uses of technology include ticket machines to collect parking charges, secure bicycle lockers, information provision via company intranet or dedicated visual display units (these can be especially useful in organisations with a variety of different groups access sites in large numbers, e.g. hospitals and universities) and computer equipment to facilitate telecommuting.

Why introduce company travel plans (CTPs)?

Organisations introduce CTPs of their own volition to tackle parking shortages, improve accessibility, solve staff recruitment and retention problems, comply with planning regulations or in the case of some public sector organisations, comply with government directives. Organisations can also save money in the long term. This could be achieved by replacing company cars with pool vehicles for example, or reducing the kilometres travelled for business mileage through telecommunications.

The problems to be solved vary in their nature

Overall problem

Possible aspects of problem

Parking shortage

Adequate employee parking but none left for customers/patients/students or other visitors or vice versa

Not enough to satisfy demand from any group

Accessibility

Staff shortage and large area of unemployment near by but no transport links

Approach roads congested by customers/patients/students or other visitors

Staff recruitment and retention

As for accessibility

Company car demanded as perk but provision prohibitively expensive

Staff retention hampered by congested journey to and from work

Planning regulations

Large industrial or retail parks and major site expansions and developments refused planning permission unless a plan is to be implemented. A UK example of such planning policy is the Planning Policy Guidance note on Transport (PPG13) issued by the Government.

Significant traffic generators

Airports, stadium, retail parks and other activities generating a high volume of journeys are encouraged to develop plans. Such plans can include measures encouraging the general public not to drive as well as staff.

Government directive

Public sector organisations told to implement a plan

Excessively high outlay on transport

Car park maintenance

Company cars

High volume of first class/peak hour business travel and associated expenses

Duplicated inter-site journeys in relation to staff, goods and internal mail

Demand impacts

The demand impacts of CTPs will be dependent on the measures implemented through the plan. The key impact will be on the demand for car travel. As a consequence of this, demand for public transport, walking or cycling may increase. If there is significant up take of telecommuting and replacing business travel with telecommunications, the overall demand for travel will fall. Regardless of the measures implemented through the plan, it will contribute to transport policy objectives seeking to reduce congestion and the associated negative impacts. However, impacts will be local to the site where a CTP is implemented unless there is widespread uptake. Responses and situations is completed on the basis of local impacts.

Responses and situations
Response Reduction in road traffic Expected in situations
-
-
-
Where the CTP successfully facilitates ride sharing, modal shift and/or trip substitution with telecommunications, assuming the previous mode choice was solo driving.
Where the CTP facilitates modal shift as opposed to ride sharing or trip substitution.
This may happen where a CTP supplies sufficient alternatives to make owning a second household car unnecessary.
In the long term a committed individual who moves house for other reasons may move closer to work or public transport links.
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Short and long run demand responses

As with other measures, which work through attitudinal and behavioural change, CTPs have not been in use long enough to gauge long term demand response exactly. It is not merely that "there are very few examples of them having worked successfully" (Rye, 2002). Firstly, whilst "travel plans can work, and make a contribution to modal shift at the site level. At the network level, … the impact is much less clear, since trips removed by a travel plan may simply be replaced by others that were previously suppressed by congestion" (Rye, 2002). Secondly, in the private sector travel plans are usually adopted where there is a problem, even when that problem is created through planning regulations. Hence, where there is no problem (or perceived problem), travel plans are unlikely to be adopted. Thus, the long term responses could be marginal, as could the role of travel plans in transport policy (Rye, 2002).

The demand response will vary depending on which measures are implemented through the plan and whether more are phased in over time. Demand responses is completed on the basis of an overall decrease in car use. Again, the responses will be local.

Demand responses
Response - 1st year 2-4 years 5 years 10+ years
-
  -
  Change job location
- Shop elsewhere
  Compress working week
- Trip chain
- Work from home
- Shop from home
  Ride share
- Public transport
- Walk/cycle
  -
  -
= Weakest possible response = Strongest possible positive response
= Weakest possible negative response = Strongest possible negative response
= No response

Level of response

AThe price elasticity of demand varies with context, especially the measures implemented in the travel plan. The type of trip, traveller, price elasticity of related goods and services, and whether the elasticity accounts for short term or long term demand response are important influential factors in the calculation and interpretation.

Rye (2002) has compiled figures to show that 11% of private businesses in Great Britain have taken up travel plans, which means that 7% of employees are covered by a travel plan. 73% of trips were by car before travel plan uptake. This has dropped 6% afterwards. This is a decrease of 0.5m kilometres per annum.

A review of experience in the Netherlands reported by rye (2002) suggests that decreases of this amount are the result of plans consisting of only basic measures, e.g. ride sharing. "On average the reduction in drive alone commute trips from a travel plan … [is] as follows" (Rye, 2002):

Measures

Decrease in drive alone commute trips

Basic, costing little

5-8%

Basic plus more expensive measures such as bus services

8-10%

The above plus disincentives such as parking charges

10-15%

Despite less public objection to CTPs in the Netherlands, only Washington State, through its legislation has achieved widespread uptake. In the UK, uptake in the private sector is mainly limited to companies with 200 or more employees. This is because smaller organisations rarely have the resources to divert to such peripheral activities (Rye, 2002).

Supply impacts

As with demand impacts, supply impacts will be local. CTPs themselves will not result in a change in the supply of road space. However, where CTPs form part of a new development, which includes new road access, a CTP can be accompanied by increased supply of road space. Ideally, the presence of the CTP will manage the demand for the new road space such that it is dominated by alternatives to solo driving.

In the more common scenarios where there is no increase in supply of road space, there is merely a change in the way that road space is used. This is common to all attitudinal and behavioural measures.

Where the CTP also includes additional provision for alternatives to the car, e.g. bus services, there can be an increase in public transport and facilities for walking and cycling.

Where CTPs seek to restrict parking, there will be a decrease in supply. Where ride sharing is accompanied by priority parking spaces the way existing supply is used will change and reduce supply available to solo drivers.

Financing requirements

The financial burden of a CTP varies according to the measures implemented through the plan. A staff travel survey can be undertaken at minimal cost, especially where there are facilities to collect data via an intranet. However, some staff time will need to be diverted to analyse the data, interpret the results and decide on appropriate action. Alternatively, a staff travel plan co-ordinator can be employed full or part time. The salary cost will vary with hours, responsibilities and between regions. It could range from £10-15 ($14-21) thousand per annum part time to £20-30 ($29-43) thousand per annum full time (2002 figures).

The cheapest and most basic measure to implement is a ride sharing scheme. Reducing parking space and information provision are also inexpensive measures. Providing loans to purchase bicycles or season tickets may also be inexpensive in the medium and long term despite initially large outlay. Annual adult travel cards in London range from £360 - £1,476 ($515 - $2,112) at April 2002 prices. In a company with 200 staff where 10 of the workforce take up the offer of travel card loans the initial outlay would range from £7,200 - £29,520 ($10,300 - $42,232) per annum. Other measures such as subsidised bus services can be more expensive, as the Pfizer example illustrates. However, if parking charges are implemented this could fund expensive measures, as could savings brought about by reduced business travel costs, not having to increase parking provision, reduced congestion around the site and/or reduced recruitment and retention costs.

Nevertheless, the staff time and cost taken up organising a plan should not be forgotten. It is more likely to be viable for a large company where the cost per head is lower, as the amount of organisation does not decrease directly in line with staff numbers. Additionally, administrative burden is likely to decrease over time as the travel plan becomes established.

Expected impact on key policy objectives

The exact impacts will depend on which measures are implemented. However, the overall aim is to reduce car use for work related journeys. Thus, Contribution to Objectives is completed on this basis. To see more detail on the impacts of specific measures, e.g. ride sharing or bus service provision, go to the individual measures within KonSULT. However, it should be noted that impacts will be less wide spread in terms of geographical impact, social groups affected and travel culture change than shown for individual measures. This is because CTPs are confined to work related journeys, which are concentrated around business locations.

Contribution to objectives

Objective

Scale of contribution

Comment

  Notable around sites with successful plans.
  Around business locations and access routes, but where there are few residential, retail, commercial or entertainment sites, there may be little benefit.
  Around business sites and access routes.
  Where measures improve access from deprived areas and where infrastructure and/or public transport services are made available to the general public, or where there are benefits from reduced congestion.
  Around business sites and access routes.
  For individual companies that save money or can expand as a result of the plan. Also, some impact through reduced congestion in wider area, especially if the plan covers a whole industrial or retail development; or if a critical mass of companies in a city centre have plans.
  Negative impacts where CTPs are subsidised or there is substantially reduced tax revenue from fuel sales. Could be mitigated by savings in the cost of parking provision, road maintenance, accidents and enforcement.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected impact on problems

Again the impacts will vary according to the measures implemented and individual measures should be consulted for more detail. The impacts will be local to sites where CTPs are implemented.

Contribution to alleviation of key problems

Problem

Scale of contribution

Comment

Congestion-related delay

Contribution may be greater where the campaign is accompanied by infrastructure and/or service alterations which make using alternatives to the car more attractive.

Congestion-related unreliability

Contribution may be greater where the campaign is accompanied by infrastructure and/or service alterations which make using alternatives to the car more attractive.

Community severence

By reducing traffic volumes.

Visual intrusion

By reducing traffic volumes.

Lack of amenity

Where increased walking and cycling results from the campaign there may be greater use of local facilities, which will sustain and possibly increase their supply.

Global warming

By reducing traffic-related CO2 emissions.

Local air pollution

By reducing emissions of NOx, particulates and other local pollutants.

Noise

By reducing traffic volumes.

Reduction of green space

By reducing pressure for new road building and city expansion.

Damage to environmentally sensitive sites

By reducing traffic volumes.

Poor accessibility for those without a car and those with mobility impairments

There is no direct impact, but where increased demand for public transport results from a campaign, quality and volume of supply may increase.

Disproportionate disadvantaging of particular social or geographic groups

Individualised marketing targets car drivers, but in the longer term increased demand for alternatives may result in increased supply, which could benefit other social groups.

Number, severity and risk of accidents

By reducing traffic volumes.

Suppression of the potential for economic activity in the area

By improving the efficiency of the local road network through reduced congestion, especially where combined with other measures.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Expected winners and losers

One would not expect everybody to benefit equally from any transport measure and this is especially true of CTPs which target a very specific audience.

Winners and losers

Group

Winners/Losers

Comment

Large scale freight and commercial traffic

Where reduced car use is achieved on routes used by freight vehicles. High value journeys - less time spent in congestion the greater the vehicle utilization.

Small businesses


/
Unlikely to have their own CTP but if they are located near an organisation with a successful CTP they may benefit from reduced congestion. Most likely in city centres or business parks where a critical mass of companies have successful plans.

High income car-users

High income associated with high value of time and thus continued car use for high value journeys. Where there are financial penalties for car use in the CTP employees who continue to drive will loose. On a wider scale those making high value journeys in the area benefited by the CTP will benefit from reduced congestion.
People with a low income Where CTP participants are ablve to save money through ride sharing or parking cash outs.

People with poor access to public transport

Where new bus services are available to the general public and/or where increased demand for alternatives results in increased quality and volume of supply.

All existing public transport users

Where new bus services are available to the general public and/or where increased demand for alternatives results in increased quality and volume of supply. Reduced congestion will also increase the supply of existing public transport.

People living adjacent to the area targeted

They may benefit from reduced congestion and improved or increased public transport supply.

People making high value, important journeys

Where these journeys are within the area benefiting from reduced congestion as a result of the CTP.
The average car user Where they are able to travel more efficiently, saving time and money. Plus getting more exercise through walking and cycling, and experiencing the community benefits which accrue from these modes.
= Weakest possible benefit = Strongest possible positive benefit
= Weakest possible negative benefit = Strongest possible negative benefit
= Neither wins nor loses

Barriers to implementation

Scale of barriers
Barrier Scale Comment
Legal There are no legal restrictions. 
Finance Support for travel plans is relatively inexpensive, but does need to be sustained.
Governance The only restrictions relate to the need for public transport operators to contribute information.
Political acceptability There may be resistance to using measures which have no immediate impact on the ground.
Public and stakeholder acceptability The main barrier is companies’ resistance to change in response to such campaigns.
Technical feasibility Some requirements arise for data collation on travel patterns and opportunities.
= Minimal barrier = Most significant barrier

In the State of Washington in the US, most employers with over 100 staff in urban areas are required to have a travel plan by law. Between 1994 and 1999 the number of employees who drove alone decreased by 5.5% (72% to 68%) (Rye, 2002).

The evidence on performance of CTPs is sketchy as there is a serious lack of monitoring. Despite an obvious role for data demonstrating the success (or otherwise) of a plan in securing continued resourcing, only a minority of organisations collect after data. Thus, there are more descriptions of what constitutes a plan to be found in the literature than actual results. The level of detail disseminated by organisations also varies considerably. Some organisations are very open about the details and costs of their plans, whilst others regard such detail as confidential business information. Thus, the first case study is given in detail to provide a comprehensive illustration of a CTP, whilst others are summaries.

Pfizer

Context

Pfizer is "the largest pharmaceutical healthcare company in the world" (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002). The main UK site is just south of Sandwich in rural East Kent, South East England. 6,500 people are employed at the Sandwich site - twice the population of Sandwich itself! Developments at Sandwich over recent years were only granted planning permission on the basis that a travel plan be developed. Further to this, controls on parking spaces were introduced and a second site entrance was required, plus a reduction of the on site car: people ratio of 15%. Additionally, a new UK head office employing 500 people has been opened in Walton Oaks near Reigate, Surrey in Southern England. The site is a brown field site within the green belt around a dense urban area and was granted permission with "an exceptionally strict Section 106 Planning Agreement" (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002). (A Section 106 is the mechanism through which conditions are attached to planning permission granted by the local authority in the UK. i.e. permission is granted on the basis that the developer provides x. x being the development of a CTP or the provision of a bus service for example.) The Section 106 agreement with the local authority entered into by Pfizer in relation to the Walton Oaks site includes:

  • Parking cash-out staff incentive of £1,000 per space per annum,
  • Provision of £100,000 over five years for improved public bus services,
  • Very limited parking spaces - including those for visitors, spaces were rationed to 300 for 500 staff in the first development phase and 475 for 900 staff in the second.
    (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002)

Not surprisingly, Pfizer describe their CTPs in the UK as "driven by the company's wish to be a good neighbour, for sound business reasons including its business growth and planning requirements" (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002). Pfizer see reducing car dependency as good for the environment, good for employees health and good commercial sense in terms of minimising company costs (especially if road pricing and/or workplace parking leviesare introduced in the future). The current congestion causes expensive delays to commercial traffic as well as employees, whilst devoting space to parking is a waste of valuable development land. A new parking space costs £2000-£3000 ($2,912-$4,368) in construction of the space, access roads, lighting etc, and has an annual running cost, including amortisation, of £400-£500 ($582-$728 at 2002 prices), excluding land costs (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002).

The CTP has seven elements:

  • Parking cash-out
  • Staged improvements to public transport including trains and shuttle buses
  • Cycle/Motorcycle provision
  • Ride sharing
  • Infrastructure improvements
  • Better site access and on site networks
  • General enablers and publicity

The parking cash-out is a £2 ($3 at 2002 prices) credit per day to drivers at the Sandwich site who leave their cars at home. The value at the Walton Oaks site is £5 ($7 at 2002 prices) per day. The cash-out is designed to level the playing field, in as much as drivers receive a hidden subsidy equal to the value of maintaining a car parking space, which those who do not drive cannot benefit from. The credit is administered through smart site access cards which are used to access car parks as well as buildings. The credit initially takes the form of points, which are converted to cash received through the pay packet. The cash-out in Sandwich is complemented by the local authority introducing controlled parking in the town six months prior to the credit being introduced, thus reducing the potential for employees to park off-site and collect the cash-out. Whilst £2 may not be enough to encourage staff to seriously consider alternative travel arrangements, it should not cause them to search too hard for spaces outside the site either, or encourage other operators with spare land to open car parks near by. The higher cash-out at Walton Oaks may cause some problem, but "a Traffic Trust fund has been set up to tackle traffic or parking problems when and if they occur in the immediate vicinity" (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002). Administering this system through the site access cards also automatically monitors the key performance statistic - the car: people ratio.

The staged improvements in public transport consist of contract buses (company provided contract buses are tax free) serving local towns and intermediate destinations. These services were complemented by existing local services, although some of these were withdrawn by the local operator and have now been replaced by contract services. The services on contract and existing local services provided a bus at least every half an hour and late running into the evening. These features provide a service for those whose hours are not nine to five, due to shift patterns, off site working or delays to the end of the working day. Times were also adjusted to co-ordinate with local rail services. The existing local services were improved through pump priming payments from Pfizer to the local operator. For contract services, the contract with the local operator includes incentives to improve quality and attract passengers, as well as penalties when agreed targets, such as clean vehicles, are not met. The contract includes obligations and penalties for the operator and Pfizer. The revenue is shared, with the proportions varying if a bus is late, misses a passenger, is dirty or the driver is discourteous. The fares were set to match as closely as possible the petrol costs of car travel.

The nearest train station in Sandwich is over a one and a half kilometres from the Sandwich site, thus improvements to rail services have not been considered so far. However, an existing on demand shuttle service to an outpost office 100 yards from the train station was improved to provide a 10 minute interval service to the office, train station and Sandwich town centre. Special fares have now been negotiated with the local train operator. These are slightly more than equivalent bus fares, but provide for a wider range of destinations/origins and links with contract and other local bus services. A similar shuttle service is provided at the Walton Oaks site, plus a coach service between East Kent and Walton Oaks with park and ride points en route for those living between the two sites. However, the Walton Oaks shuttle services and the coach are severely affected by congestion. As public transport is central to the CTPs, bus priority on main roads and local areas is seen as imperative to plan success. To this end, Pfizer have been lobbying the relevant local authorities in Kent with some success.

Cycle and motorcycle provision includes changing rooms, lockers and showers. These are incorporated into new buildings as well as being added to existing buildings where feasible and economical. On site cycle routes and pool cycles for intra-site movements also form part of the provision. Cycle sheds are also being built or up-graded. Pfizer also work with local authorities, a national cycle campaign group and others to provide safe cycle routes to work.

There is also a motorcyclists user group and loans for motorcycle training. This may be more attractive to those working at Walton Oaks as the geography is unsuitable for cycling. Pfizer provide relocation assistance for those transferring from Sandwich to Walton Oaks.

Ride sharing accounted for an unusually high proportion (18%) of work journeys to the Sandwich site prior to the CTP due to the workforce being concentrated in small towns around the site. The parking cash-out provides a further incentive, but clearly it is not as great as that received by those who do not travel by car at all. A map based computer matching system has been developed and can be used for last minute searches. At Walton Oaks, Pfizer are working with other employers in the area and the local authorities to develop a district wide ride share scheme.

Infrastructure improvements consist of a package of road and public transport improvements referred to as the "East Kent Access Scheme." This is part of Kent County Council's Local Transport Plan (LTP). (LTPs are the five year transport plans required of local authorities responsible for transport provision by the UK government.) The reasoning behind the scheme is industrial regeneration of the area and to ensure that existing jobs are retained. As part of this, the measures are needed to tackle serious congestion in the area (the main access road from the north of the Sandwich site is grid locked daily), which will grow as the Pfizer workforce grows and the local area is regenerated.

It is essential that the scheme is designed to give positive advantage to buses and high occupancy cars. Hence,high occupancy vehicle lanes running to and from the Pfizer site are being designed into the scheme. Similar developments are planned around the Walton Oaks site.

Better site access and on-site routes are provided through the bus and cycle lanes referred to above. In addition, on-site bus routes, as well as the cycle routes facilitate door-to-door travel as much as possible.

General enablers and publicity are the activities undertaken to communicate the need to reduce car use, negotiate appropriate measures for the CTP and persuade people to reduce their car use through incentives and culture change. These enablers include a company car opt out scheme and alterations to the car use policy, senior management leading by example, good information on alternatives to solo driving through a company intranet, briefing sessions and monitoring of targets to chase.

Impacts on demand

Mode 1998 (%) 2001 (%)
Car, on own 66.7 58.8
Car, with other (s) 17.7 20.4
Bus 6.7 11.8
Bicycle 5.7 5.2
Foot 1.5 1.4
Motorcycle 1.6 2.0
Train 0 0.3
Other 0.1 0.1
(Elliot & Chadwick, 2002)

This represents a more than 75% increase in the market share of public transport amongst Pfizer employees and an increase in ride sharing above the already high levels. The increase in train use appears small but is in fact an increase from two people before the shuttle buses linking the site and the train station were introduced to 20 people afterwards. The shuttle buses transport 150-200 people to and from home daily, and 62% of these say they would otherwise travel by car. In total the shuttle buses carry 500 people per day, up from 60 prior to expansion of the service. It is also note worthy that some regular users have sold second household cars. Cycling appears to have decreased slightly, but it is thought that cycling is very reliant on good weather and the survey was under taken immediately after a particularly rainy period. Walking is unlikely to increase substantially due to the distance between the site and near by towns. The key car: people ratio has decreased from 75:100 to 68:100 - a 9% reduction.

The car: people ratio at the Walton Oaks site is currently 66:100, which is considered particularly good for a site located in an area accessible by road from a large proportion of Southern England. As the site only opened in December 2001, the CTP has not been running long enough to have significant impacts, although staff transferring from Sandwich may have been influenced by activity there. The low ratio is credited to higher than expected use of bus services to the Walton Oaks site, as "staff have made real efforts to locate close to the site" (Elliot & Chadwick, 2002).

N.B. All facts and figures describing the Pfizer CTP under context and demand impacts are taken from Elliot & Chadwick, 2002.

Impacts on supply

The supply of road space has not changed as a result of the CTPs, although future plans in terms of access roads and high occupancy vehicle lanes is likely to change the nature of supply. The supply of safe cycling routes has increased, as have the supply of public transport (bus and shuttle) services.

Contribution to objectives

The objective behind the Pfizer CTPs is essentially to improve company efficiency to minimise costs and maximise profits. The reduction of congestion surrounding sites, better land use and employee health are all elements of improved efficiency. In as much as the CTP at Sandwich has reduced solo driving it will have contributed positively towards all these issues and ultimately company efficiency.

Contribution to objectives below is completed on the basis of contribution to transport policy objectives.

Contribution to objectives
Objective Comment
  The CTPs have reduced actual or potential increases in congestion around sites and thus contributed to efficiency in the area. Further gains are likely to be made as future accessibility improvements are made.
  By reducing congestion, liveability has been improved.
  By reducing congestion, air and noise pollution and land take pressure on the local environment has been reduced. However, local authority regeneration plans seem to counteract any reduction in pressure to build new roads.
  Improvements in public transport, cycle and motorcycle facilities and financial benefits to non-car uses have made the transport environment more equitable and reduced the potential for social exclusion through lack of access to a car.
  If reductions in congestion result in increased speeds, safety issues in terms of number of severity of accidents may need to be tackled. The provision of safe cycling routes will have improved safety for this mode.
  By helping to secure current and future jobs in the area, the CTP has made a positive contribution to the local economy; ultimately this will feed into the national economy.
  The CTPs have considerable costs attached, especially in terms of bus service provision and new on site facilities. However, the additional profit made through using land to manufacture saleable product, rather than "store metal boxes" is thought to out weigh costs.
  Considerable efforts have been needed to convince management of the benefits of the more expensive measures and changes to company culture. Additionally, considerable time is needed to negotiate with local authorities, transport operators and the large number of staff (for example, transport is discussed with all new recruits). However, Pfizer is large enough to have a Transport and Planning department with staff dedicated to the CTP. Additionally, the resources are considered justifiable in terms of improving company efficiency. Nevertheless, the company would like to see more action in terms of providing alternatives to the car by local and national government to reduce the burden on them.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Manchester Airport

Context

Manchester Airport is the main international airport in Northern England, with projected growth to 30,000 staff by 2010 (Manchester Airport PLC, 2002). In 1997 Manchester Airport was granted planning permission to build a second runway. As a condition of the planning permission, the Airport was required to implement a number of strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of the expansion. This resulted in the Green Charter, "a commitment from the Airport to local councils" (Manchester Airport PLC, 1998). The Charter includes commitments to minimise the impacts of ground transport used (by staff and passengers) to access the airport. Consequently a Ground Transport Strategy was launched in October 1997. Targets included in the Ground Transport Strategy are:

  • Increase public transport use (by staff and passenger) to 25% by 2005
  • Reduce staff travelling by car alone to national levels (70%) by 2005
  • Cap staff car parking spaces to 4,200
    (Manchester Airport PLC, 2002)

The Green Commuter Plan for staff was launched in 1998. Measures initially included in the plan focus on:

  • Business travel
  • Working from home
  • Bus services, and
  • Ride sharing
    (Manchester Airport PLC, 2002)

This list now includes:

  • All public transport
  • Improved cycle paths, parking and changing facilities, plus interest-free bicycle loans
  • Pilot van-sharing schemes
  • Increased car park charges to on-site employers and relocation of staff parking to the site periphery

Public transport measures have a key role, including major infrastructure provision in partnership with public transport operators, local authorities, on-site companies, Railtrack and the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive. The work started with improvements to the local bus network, including a subsidy for early, late and weekend bus services to make them available to shift workers. After completion of the new Airport Rail Link, the number of services to the station was increased and staff were offered discounted tickets. A ground transport interchange is also due to be opened in 2003 and a Metrolink (light rail) extension is expected to be completed by 2005.

As a result of this work, bus use doubled and cycle use for journeys to work tripled between 1996 and 2000. This reduced the proportion of staff who drove alone from 83% to 63%, against a background of increasing staff numbers (East Midlands Local Government Association, 2001 in Rye, 2002).

N.B. All facts and figures describing the Manchester Airport CTP under context are taken from Manchester Airport PLC website (http://www.manchesterairport.co.uk) unless otherwise indicated.

Impacts on demand

The increasing staff numbers at Manchester Airport clearly result in an increase in demand for ground transport, but the reduction in number of staff driving alone is likely to have resulted in a net reduction in demand for road space. The increased demand for bus services may have increased the number of buses on the road, but this is unlikely to have taken all the space freed by reduced solo driving. However, it should be noted that nothing is known about any possible release of suppressed demand resulting from the availability of freed up road space. The increased rail services and discounted staff ticketing may also have increased demand for rail services.

Impacts on supply

The measures indicated in the ground transport plan material do not indicate a change in the supply of road space, merely a change in the way it is used. The new Airport Rail Link will have increased the supply of heavy rail infrastructure, which will be accompanied by an increase in supply of light rail and interchange infrastructure by 2005. Additionally, the supply of bus services has increased.

The temporary rail link to the second runway construction site was responsible for "removing 186,000 lorry journeys from roads in Cheshire, Derbyshire and Greater Manchester" (Manchester airport PLC, 1998).

Contribution to objectives

The objectives of the Ground Transport Strategy and thus the Green Transport Plan at Manchester Airport are to facilitate growth by improving access to the airport and comply with planning regulations.

Contribution to objectives below is completed on the basis of contribution to transport policy objectives by the overall Ground Transport Strategy.

Contribution to objectives
Objective Comment
  The Strategy has reduced solo driving and thus congestion around Manchester Airport. For a business reliant on the timely arrival and departure of passengers, minimising congestion is fundamental.
  By reducing congestion, liveability has been improved. For streets near to the Airport, such improvements may be negligible compared to the impacts of air traffic.
  By reducing congestion an improving access by public transport, land take pressure on the local environment has been reduced. Additionally air and noise pollution will have been reduced. For streets near to the Airport, such improvements may be negligible compared to the impacts of air traffic.
  Improvements in public transport and cycle facilities have made the transport environment more equitable and reduced the potential for social exclusion through lack of access to a car.
  If reductions in congestion result in increased speeds, safety issues in terms of number and severity of accidents may need to be tackled. The increased use of public transport will also have increased safety as these are safer modes. Safety of cyclists will also have improved through provision of better cycle paths.
  By helping to facilitate expansion of a major regional airport and increase employment in the area the Strategy will have made a significant contribution to the local economy, which will ultimately feed into the national economy. The local economic impacts are not just in terms of employment at the airport, the airport is likely to be responsible for inward investment by other companies to the area.
  The Strategy has considerable costs attached, especially in terms of new public transport facilities, but these are not borne solely by the Airport. Clearly, these costs are seen as an acceptable burden in light of increased profit from higher passenger turn over.
  The scale of public transport measures indicates that significant staff effort and construction work is needed.
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

Stockley Park Business Park

Context

Stockley Park business park is in West London, near to Heathrow Airport. The business park has been built up by the developer, Stockley Park Consortium. Since 1998 Stockley Park Consortium have operated the Stockley Transport Plan. The plan commits the developer to work with employers occupying buildings within the park to reduce car use by 20% over five years. The Consortium work in partnership with the local authority (London Borough of Hillingdon) such that The Plan complements Hillingdon transport policies and accounts for the needs of the local community as well as businesses. As with other CTPs, the plan is driven by a combination of business and planning/development motivations. The key motivations are a desire to improve accessibility, put land to productive use (rather than car parking) and planning requirements (Rye, 2002). The Transport Plan clearly sets the work within the current transport policy and planning context as well as a more local transport context:

"Government Transport Policies, such as the Integrated Transport Policy White Paper, the Road Traffic Reduction Act and PPG13, together with Local Authority Policies, such as Local Agenda 21, … [and Local Transport Plans], influence the transport policies developed by members of the Heathrow Area Transport Forum and Stockley Park" (http://www.stockleypark.co.uk, 2002)

The Heathrow Area Transport Forum is the over arching transport forum for the area, within which the Stockley Park Transport Plan sits. Within The Plan, individual employers devise their own commuter plans (http://www.stockleypark.co.uk, 2002). The Plan began with the circulation of the Transport Plan Consultation Document to site occupiers in 1997. Following this later in 1997, a Sustainable Transport Co-ordinator was appointed and a staff travel survey was circulated.

As a result of the survey, modal targets for the 20% reduction in car use were set as follows:

  • 7% from development of the Heathrow North station
  • 7% from public transport improvements
  • 5% from ride sharing
  • 1% from cycling and walking initiatives

These targets result from 60% of survey respondents saying they would consider using public transport if it were improved and existing plans for a Heathrow-St Pancras Rail Station link, plus 30% expressing an interest in ride sharing. The initiatives, which were developed include:

  • Funding for existing bus services and improvements to those services
  • Travel cards and tickets on sale at Stockley Park
  • Discounted tickets and integrated ticketing system
  • Funding for feasibility studies to identify future public transport service improvements
  • Heathrow North Rail Station (although a station may be developed at Hayes instead with public transport links to Stockley Park)
  • An internet-based ride sharing scheme with free emergency taxi home
  • An internet-based bicycle user group
  • A bicycle buddy scheme for inexperienced cyclists
  • Discounts with local bike shops
  • Improvements to local cycle facilities
  • Research viability of east-west cycle route linking Stockley Park to the Borough and London-wide cycle network
  • Awareness raising communication, including
    • Stockley Park on-line community (Spark) including real-time bus information and promotion of alternative travel options
    • A travel to Stockley Park leaflet
    • Quarterly 'Stockley Travel' newsletter
    • National Cycle to Work Day and National Car Free Day events
    • Branding of all materials with the 'Stockley Travel' logo
  • Measures to reduce car dependency during the day, plus other measures to reduce dependency, including:
    • On-line shopping and banking through the 'Spark'
    • Promotion of existing on-site services (newsagents, dry cleaners, nursery, hairdressers, currency exchange), mobile library and twice weekly shopper bus through 'Spark'.

As a result of a public transport feasibility (accessibility) study extensions to an existing service and a whole new service were identified as meeting the aspirations of the Stockley Park Transport Plan and the London Borough of Hillingdon with regard to regeneration of the Hayes-West Drayton corridor.

Government policy and possible future fiscal measures are seen as an enforcement mechanism by Stockley Park Consortium, who cannot easily use parking related disincentives to car use, as individual building occupiers control their own parking. However, a number of novel enforcement strategies are being developed, including:

  • Commercial mechanisms, such as revising leasing structures
  • Advising companies to adopt their own enforcement strategies, such as encouraging employees to sell their parking spaces
  • Development of a car parking management plan in conjunction with the Stockley Park Tenants Representative and individual occupiers, through an audit of car parking provision.

Despite the frequent neglect of monitoring, it is seen as essential and includes four elements:

  • Ride sharing patterns [through the website?] to show number of ride sharers, days they share and number of journeys saved
  • New cyclists through the bicycle user group website
  • Public transport usage through regular surveys by the operators
  • Regular travel surveys to monitor change.

The actions and initiatives above have required considerable funding. "Development costs for the Transport Plan to data amount to approximately £150,000" (http://www.stockleypark.co.uk, 2002). Approximately £850,000 has been spent on two local bus services since 1989 and £2.3 million has been pledged for development of the Heathrow North Station, extensions to bus routes and development of new routes, and an east-west cycle route (http://www.stockleypark.co.uk, 2002).

Implementation of The Plan is overseen by the Transport Co-ordinator and the Stockley Travel Working Team comprised of representatives from occupiers, local transport operators and the local authority. The Plan is also endorsed by senior executives of occupying companies, whilst employees are kept up to date through the communication mediums listed above. Additionally, professional advice and support are obtained from consultants and transport associations.

DETR, 2001 in Rye, 2002 lists the following results for the Stockley Park Transport Plan, against a background of increasing staff numbers.

Mode 1997 1999
Car use (solo driver?) 88% 84%
Public transport use 10% 12%
Cycling - "more than doubled"

N.B. All facts and figures describing the Stockley Park Transport Plan under context are taken from the 'Transport Plan' pages of http://www.stockleypark.co.uk as viewed on the 18/05/02, unless otherwise stated.

Impact on demand

The CTP measures and changes in travel patterns identified above suggest that there has been a decrease in the demand for road travel as a consequence of the CTP, despite increasing employee numbers. The changes in travel patterns also indicate an increase in demand for public transport services and cycling facilities. The public transport split between bus and rail is not known, but the measures and plans outlined above suggest that the increased demand is for bus services and rail infrastructure with accompanying services. Unfortunately, ride sharing figures are not published.

Impact on supply

The information above suggests that there has been no change in the supply of road space, merely the way it is used, but there may have been an increase in the supply of bus services and an increase in rail infrastructure and services is envisaged.

Contribution to objectives
Objective Comment
  The Strategy has reduced car use and thus congestion around Stockley Park.
  By reducing congestion, liveability has been improved.
  By reducing congestion and improving access by public transport, land take pressure on the local environment has been reduced. Additionally air and noise pollution will have been reduced.
  Improvements in public transport and cycle facilities have made the transport environment more equitable and reduced the potential for social exclusion through lack of access to a car.
  If reductions in congestion result in increased speeds, safety issues in terms of number and severity of accidents may need to be tackled. However, the increased use of public transport will have increased safety as these are safer modes. Safety of cyclists will also have improved through provision of better cycle paths.
  By facilitating further development of Stockley Park and increasing productivity on The Park, there will have been a boost to the local economy, which will ultimately feed into the national economy. Given the location near to a major international airport, the development is likely to be adding to a cumulative inward investment process.
  The Strategy has considerable costs attached, especially in terms of new public transport facilities, but these are not borne solely by Stockley Park Consortium. Clearly, these costs are seen as an acceptable burden in light of increased profit anticipated from sale and leasing of office space.
  The need to co-ordinate a large number of on-site employers and the scale of public transport measures indicates that significant staff effort and construction work is needed.

Nottingham City Hospital

Context

Nottingham City Hospital is 5km north of Nottingham city centre. 8000 staff work on site (http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2000) and there are approximately 14,000 two-way car trips (including visitors, patients and deliveries) accessing the site each day (Walker, 2000 in Rye, 2002). The hospital is spread across a large site and is currently subject to redevelopment and expansion work. As a result of this expansion and associated planning requirements there is a need to reverse the current increase in car trips to the site.

The CTP was introduced in 1997, commencing with a staff travel plan. The measures introduced as part of the CTP include:

  • Improved pedestrian and cycle access to the site, including formalising informal site access points (e.g. gaps in the boundary fence).
  • Improving cycle parking, showers and lockers.
  • 12.5% staff discount at a local cycle shop*.
  • Bicycle User Group introduced, which has been expanded into the Alternative Transport Group*.
  • Nottingham City Council Midi-bus services running through the hospital site linking local estates and suburbs to the hospital*. These services receive no subsidy from the hospital.
  • Buses run early in the morning and late at night to allow shift workers to use the buses*.
  • Improved bus shelters around the site, including seating and comprehensive bus information*.
  • Transport information on the intra and internet sites
  • Parking charges between £1 and £2.50 per day, with revenue hypothecated to improving non-car transport links to the hospital. (These charges may increase if a workplace parking levy is introduced in Nottingham*.)
    Source: Walker, 2000 in rye, 2002 except *http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2002.

The following results have been achieved by Nottingham City Hospital CTP:

 

1997

2000

Car use (solo driver?)

72%

58%

Ride sharing*

2%

11%

Bus use**

11%

19%

Cycling**

5%

4%

Train**

Not known

0.4%***

Source: Walker, 2000 in Rye, 2002 except **http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2002.
*It is assumed that this is facilitated by the intranet site referred to above
***The main rail station is several kilometres across the city, although there is a local station one and a half kilometres from the hospital site.

http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2002 also report a number of other interesting results from the year 2000 staff travel survey:

  • 20% of staff live more than 16km from the hospital
    • 55% of these drive alone to work
  • 88% of staff never cycle to work - 22% more than in 1997 - key reasons are:
    • 39% no access to a bicycle
    • 24% personal safety concerns
  • 54% of staff never travel to work by public transport - many of those who do [at least occasionally], do so because they have:
    • no access to a car, or
    • cannot drive

These findings imply that car based commuting is still preferable to many, explaining the substantial increase in ride sharing. Whilst the improvements to bus services have clearly paid off, those living along way from the hospital may live beyond the end of the routes. These distances imply very dispersed journeys, suggesting that expanding the ride share scheme to other local employers, could increase the number of potential matches and up take. The motivations to use public transport suggest that incentives (or further disincentives for car use) could be beneficial. A bus (shuttle) link to the local rail station may also be beneficial, as it was in the Pfizer case reported above. With regard to cycling, the lack of access to a bicycle justification for not cycling despite the discount available at a local store, suggests that other modes remain more attractive. Additionally,http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2002 notes that the decrease in cycling is in line with the national average. More incentives to cycle could help, especially if these included safe cycle routes linking local estates and suburbs to the hospital for those whose journeys are short.

Impacts on demand

The results reported above suggest demand for road travel has changed, with a small shift to ride sharing and bus use. This represents modal shift from solo driving and cycling. The increase in demand for bus travel has taken the number travelling by bus above the national average of 8% (http://utc.nottscc.gov.uk/index.htm, 2002).

Impacts on supply

None of the measures reported indicate a change in the supply of road space for any mode. Similarly, the bus related measures suggest that the main change to supply has been an increase in the supply of information and extension to the supply of services through earlier and later running. Possible re-routing to enable services to run through the site may have increased direct supply to the site and decreased supply elsewhere.

Contribution to objectives
Objective Comment
  The Strategy has reduced solo car use and thus congestion around the hospital.
  By reducing congestion, liveability has been improved.
  By reducing congestion and improving access by public transport, land take pressure on the local environment has been reduced. Additionally air and noise pollution will have been reduced.
  Improvements in public transport have made the transport environment more equitable and reduced the potential for social exclusion through lack of access to a car.
  If reductions in congestion result in increased speeds, safety issues in terms of number and severity of accidents may need to be tackled. However, the increased bus use will have increased safety as this is a safer mode.
  The key contribution of hospitals to local economies is through employment, the levels of which are not decided on a purely commercial basis. Thus, the CTP at Nottingham City Hospital will have made a minor contribution to the local economy by reducing congestion and it's impacts on other local businesses.
  Costs are not reported, but the parking charge suggests that the CTP is self-financing (to some extent at least).
  Co-ordination issues are not reported, but a CTP covering 8000 staff over a large site, including changes to bus services, will inevitably require dedicated time. However, given the pre-existing need to co-ordinate patient transport, deliveries and visitor parking, the CTP may have been tasked to an existing transport team.

Comparison with Experience in the US and the Netherlands

In the US the Federal Clean Air Law made travel plans mandatory for organisations with over 100 staff in major urban areas, during the 1990's. Whilst this law has been repealed as a result of lobbying from the business community, the State of Washington has retained its own law, with the same stipulations. In organisations subject to the law, there was a 5.5% reduction in solo driving from 72% between 1994 and 1999 (Washington State TDM Office, 1999 in Rye, 2002). Approximately "half of the employees in the regulated areas work for …employers …covered by the travel plan law, so it affects …[approximately] 12% of all trips made in the areas, since … [approximately] a quarter of all trips are made to and from work" (Rye, 2002).

This US experience not only highlights the resistance to change from businesses perceiving a threat to their profitability, it also demonstrates the role of legislation and the potential impact if there is a concentration of CTPs within an area. Whilst, US businesses clearly perceived a threat to their profitability, the UK examples cited above suggest that CTPs need not be a threat to profit for very large organisations. Indeed, the motivations to implement travel plans suggest that CTPs are seen as helpful in increasing profits. In some cases this could purely be because physical expansion of operations is not granted planning permission without a CTP and the profits from the expansion are calculated to be sufficiently more than the cost of the CTP. The frequent mention of planning restrictions as a motivation to implement a CTP indicates that there is a role for regulation in increasing the up take of CTPs, however the US experience suggests that blanket legislation is an unacceptably hard stick. In the UK, many local authorities are now able to offer companies support through travel plan officers funded by Central Government. This facility helps to soften the stick that is regulation, by communicating the need for CTPs and advising in the early stages. Communicating the need for change is just as important with businesses as it is with the general public. The potential success of UK planning regulations in instigating CTPs is indicated by the fact that most employers talking to Leeds City Council about CTPs are now doing so because the CTP is required as a condition of planning permission granted. Additionally, there is a continuous stream of companies approaching Leeds City Council, where as a year or so ago, only a few organisations had volunteered and the Council found it necessary to devote resources to recruiting businesses to the idea (Leeds City Council, personal communication, 2002).

Rye, 2002 reports two travel plan reviews carried out in the Netherlands by, Towen (1997) and Ligtermoet (1998). A strong relationship between the measures in a plan and the reduction in drive alone commute trips was identified as follows:

  • "About 5-8% for a plan with only basic measures that cost little [e.g. ride sharing];
  • About 8-10% for a plan with the basic measures and other more expensive measures such as additional bus services to the site and reduced fares;
  • About 10-15% for a plan with all the above measures, and disincentives to car use, such as car park charging" (Rye, 2002).

These findings are in line with the trends identifiable from the case studies reported above. The case studies suggest that ride sharing is popular (presumably because it does not involve getting out of the car), but that people are prepared to travel by bus when the service is significantly improved. Indeed, improving bus services appears to be central to many UK CTPs run by large organisations. This is likely to be because these organisations have sufficient staff for improvements to services to result in increased patronage large enough to justify the funding and effort, if not make the improvements self-funding. Rail also appears to have a positive role where the link between the station and work place is relatively seamless. (Hewlett Packard in Edinburgh, Scotland reduced their solo commuting by 6%, through a 6% increase in rail travel as a result of a 40% discount for travel to a local station next door to the site (other non-rail measures were also implemented)). However, the more rigid nature of rail travel appears to make bus based measures more appealing as they can get nearer to a door-to-door service.

Gaps and weaknesses

Whilst there are many guides to implementing CTPs available in the UK, there is a lack of evidence on the effects of CTPs. Rye (2002) reports a number of examples with results, which is a significant improvement on previous evidence relating to impacts. Nevertheless, where the CTP covers site visitors such as passengers, patients and their visitors, the available evidence only covers staff travel. Additionally, the majority are large organisations employing thousands of staff.

These organisations clearly have a better ability to absorb the financial and resource costs of a CTP to the extent that they can afford to undertake monitoring, but this does not mean that smaller companies cannot operate a CTP and there is a serious lack of evidence regarding what happens when they do. Where larger organisations have published some data on costs, they may well appear prohibitive to smaller companies as evidence demonstrating the ability of a CTP to be profitable is thin. What evidence there is relies on savings in the cost of parking provision (Ernst and Young, 1996 in Rye, 2002), and it is not clear whether these would be large enough in smaller organisations to outweigh the implementation costs.

Hewlett Packard (cited above) have calculated that their plan cost them no more than £22,000 per year so far, equivalent to £1 per return car trip removed (Rye, 2002). Whilst £1, per return car trip removed may not appear excessive, it is not clear whether similar results can be achieved by smaller companies at similar per trip costs.

Additionally, a 6% reduction in solo car driving will represent considerably more journeys in an organisation with thousands of employees, thus there may be a noticeable reduction in congestion on local access roads, causing noticeable improvements in efficiency. Noticeable impacts may be unlikely for smaller, individual sites, especially those located within urban areas. Thus, there is also a need to obtain more knowledge regarding the impacts of a concentration of CTPs within an area or a CTP covering a number of organisations.

There is also some evidence that non-monetary benefits of travel plans, such as increased staff fitness due to more active travel arrangements and reduced stress due to not spending time in traffic jams are not perceived by employers. Similarly, the monetary benefits such as reduced staff absenteeism and increased productivity are not always perceived (Gladstone, 2001). More work is needed to quantify these benefits.

Contribution to objectives and problems
Objective Pfizer Manchester Airport
Stockley Park
Business Park
Nottingham City
Hospital
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Urban regeneration around the site - -
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

 

Summary of each case study's contribution to alleviation of key problems
Problem Pfizer Manchester Airport Stockley Park Business Park Nottingham City Hospital
Congestion-related delay
Congestion-related unreliability
Community severance
Visual intrusion
Lack of amenity
Global warming
Local air pollution
Noise
Reduction of green space
Damage to environmentally sensitive sites
Poor accessibility for those without a car and those with mobility impairments
Disproportionate disadvantaging of particular social or geographic groups
Number, severity and risk of accidents
Suppression of the potential for economic activity in the area
= Weakest possible positive contribution = Strongest possible positive contribution
= Weakest possible negative contribution = Strongest possible negative contribution
= No contribution

The contribution made by Pfizer, Manchester Airport and Nottingham City Hospital may be over estimated, but they are awarded two ticks to demonstrate the difference between these plans and the plan at Stockley Park.

Appropriate contexts

There are no areas where CTPs are inappropriate as such, but implementation will be more acceptable in areas where there is a demonstrable need, i.e. areas where there is a serious congestion problem and/or high density areas where there is little space for expansion beyond the current property boundaries. If and when a more robust case can be made for the contribution of CTPs to an individual firms profitability, these constraints will no longer apply.

There is more likely to be a demonstrable need in areas with a high density of business, be this a city centre, main street in a small market town, or a suburban business park. By definition, this makes non-residential area types most appropriate. However, where businesses are located in residential areas and many employees drive to work there remains a need for a CTP. Safety of local residents, severance and liveable streets should be more significant motivators and influences on the measures implemented in such cases. Where many employees are local measures suitable for short journeys, such as those facilitating walking and cycling, may be most suitable. Where employees are not local, public transport links are likely to be needed. Appropriate Area Types indicates the areas where the need for CTPs is likely to be greatest, making them more acceptable and the areas appropriate to such work.

Appropriate area-types
Area type Suitability
City centre
Dense inner suburb
Medium density outer suburb
Less dense outer suburb
District centre
Corridor
Small town
Tourist town
= Least suitable area type = Most suitable area type

It should be noted that isolated single occupant business sites, or multi-occupant business, retail or leisure parks are particularly suitable, so long as public transport links to near by public transport hubs already exist or can be created as part of the CTP, or many employees travel from the same residential areas and can ride share.

Adverse side-effects

Experience in the UK and the Netherlands suggests that there are no significant side-effects resulting from CTPs. The US experience suggests that CTPs can be very unpopular amongst the business community, but this may have more to do with the way they were introduced than the CTPs per se. The implication here is that CTPs need to be introduced in a phased approach with the idea and information preceding action to avoid negative political fall out. The same principle applies within a company to maintain positive staff relations.

East Midlands Local Government Association, 2001, "OPTIMUM Pilot 3 Final Report. Report to European Commission Interreg III Programme" forthcoming in Rye T, 2002, "Travel Plans: do they work?" Transport Policy, uncorrected proof, forthcoming.

Elliot J and Chadwick S, 2002, "Can Green Travel Plans really work? The Pfizer Experience" in Richards M (Ed), 2002, "Delivering the Transport Renaissance - Locally", Construction Industry Conference Centre Ltd, Cambridge.

Ernst and Young, 1996, "Benutten Naast Bouwen", Report to Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Den Haag in Rye T, 2002, "Travel Plans: do they work?" Transport Policy, uncorrected proof, forthcoming.

ETSU, 2001, "A Travel Plan Resource Pack for Employers" ETSU, Oxfordshire

DETR, 2001, personal communication in Rye T, 2002, "Travel Plans: do they work?" Transport Policy, uncorrected proof, forthcoming.

DTLR, 2002, various at http://www.local-transport.dtlr.gov.uk/travelplans/index.htm (as viewed on the 19/05/02)

Gladstone K, 2001, "A Review of Travel Plans: comparing theory and practice", Unpublished Masters of Research Thesis, University of Leeds, Institute for Transport Studies

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