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How to develop a Framework Travel Plan (for planning applications)

For new developments, Durham County Council requires a Framework Travel Plan (sometimes called an interim travel plan) to be submitted as part of the planning application, in line with local and national policy.

A Framework Travel Plan is the document submitted when the occupiers of the development are unknown and it is prepared in anticipation of a full Workplace Travel Plan.

A Framework Travel Plan may be required as a result of a transport assessment or statement, to minimise the impact of the development on the road network, but also contributes to a sustainable development as the other benefits of travel planning are also realised. 

While basic guidance is provided below regarding the content that should be included in the Framework Travel Plan, it is recommended that you contact us before writing and submitting the document to enable us to provide more specific advice.

If an existing company requires a travel plan to satisfy a planning condition, for example, for a building or car park expansion, a full Workplace Travel Plan is required. Please follow the instructions on how to develop a Workplace Travel Plan.

National specification for Workplace Travel Plans

We assess all Travel Plans against the National Specification for Workplace Travel Plans PAS 500:2008, published by British Standards. We therefore recommend that you follow the guidelines in this document, particularly section 3.3 (page six) relating to new developments.

A Framework Travel Plan should include:

Site audit

This section will contain information on current access arrangements, by all forms of transport; prioritising the most sustainable first. The site audit should also include information on parking arrangements for cycles and vehicles, and car park management systems. The full requirements are outlined in Annex C of PAS 500:2008

Defining aims and objectives

This section of the document should identify the benefits of the travel plan and present the issues which need to be addressed.


If the development is a speculative build, the Framework Travel Plan should show commitment from the developer. Supposing the end user is known, there must be commitment from the end user or occupier. Commitment is demonstrated through the measures outlined in the document. It may mean subsidising travel plan interventions and will certainly mean that the developer or end user committing to the appoint a travel plan coordinator, prior to occupation. For a site where there may be more than one end user, the developer may wish to charge tenants for the implementation of the travel plan through service charge agreements. The travel plan should also state that the tenants of the development will be required to sign up to the travel plan through the tenancy agreement.

Establishing preliminary modal split information

The very nature of a Framework Travel Plan assumes that the writer doesn't know the staff that will be employed on the site. Therefore preliminary modal split data should be obtained from census travel to work statistics for the relevant ward or from TRICS data. The travel plan should commit to undertaking a staff travel survey, to provide more accurate information, within three months of occupation.


It is essential that all Framework Travel Plans contain targets. For a speculative development, the targets will be based on census data. Targets, give the travel plan coordinator something to work towards. Whilst the targets may change when the development is occupied and a staff survey has been completed, initial targets show what is expected from the development as a result of the travel plan. All targets should be based on the faith the developer (or travel plan coordinator) has in the measures outlined in the document. For example, limited measures will achieve little modal shift but a comprehensive package of initiatives is likely to achieve more. Targets should cover a five year period.

Measures and interventions

The travel plan must include a list of practical, deliverable and funded interventions that will deliver the targets. Some measures may be implemented before the site is occupied, other measures will take place upon occupation. The measures and initiatives should include physical infrastructure such as cycle parking, car share bays, showers etc, and also campaign and promotional type interventions. The travel plan must show strong commitment to measures and initiatives; documents which only make proposals will not be accepted. It is strongly recommended that the list of interventions is put into an action plan to show who is responsible for each measure along with the target date for completion. The action plan should cover five years, in line with the targets. For ideas on measures, initiatives and campaigns please see the practical measures page. 

New staff

As stated above, a travel plan coordinator must be appointed for a development prior to occupation. This ensures new members of staff are informed about the sustainable ethos of the development, prior to occupation. It is much easier to influence travel patterns before car dependent habits are formed. The travel plan should also set out the package of benefits and recruitment incentives to be offered to prospective staff to promote and reward sustainable travel choices. 


The travel plan must contain information of how the document will be monitored. There should be commitment to undertaking a staff travel survey within three months of occupation and commitment to turning the Framework Travel Plan into a full Workplace Travel Plan within six months of occupation.

This full travel plan will contain the survey information, amended targets, and an updated, more detailed action plan.

For large sites, covering multiple tenants, for example a business park, the travel plan should remain the responsibility of the travel plan coordinator appointed by the developer for a minimum of five years. This ensures consistency in survey data and promotional initiatives.

While the travel plan coordinator should have specific contacts in each company whom they will liaise with, the coordinator will ensure travel planning isn't ad-hoc on the site. For example, if each company develops their own travel plan, multiple surveys may be undertaken which makes it hard to monitor the traffic associated with the whole site. Additionally, the companies may each celebrate national bike week separately, but it may be more efficient to celebrate the campaign as a whole site.

Contact us
Travel Planning
03000 265 309
Our address is:
  • Regeneration and Local Services
  • Sustainable Transport
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
0191 383 4080
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