Headlines: October 12th, 2007

Personal Travel Planning is not only encouraging more people to walk, cycle and use public transport but is also bringing value for money for local authorities, according to new research. The findings are based on studies of pilot projects in a number of towns and cities around the country.

The research shows that use of PTP can reduce the number of car journeys drivers make by ten per cent. At the same time the overall distance travelled by car is cut by 11 per cent. The experience of local councils shows that adopting the policy brought an average return of 30 pounds for every pound invested over a 10-year period. The case studies used in the research were in Worcester, Peterborough, Darlington, Lancashire, Bristol, Brighton and Hove, Nottingham and London.

Personal travel planning techniques are based on making people aware of alternative transport options, either by personal visits to targeted households by travel advisors or through local marketing campaigns. The figures showing how the idea is working have been revealed by the Transport Minister Rosie Winterton. “This research shows that where local authorities have worked innovatively to tell people about alternative travel options, walking, cycling and the use of public transport have been boosted. This can only bring benefits by cutting congestion, improving people’s health and reducing pollution,” she said.

She also launched the Essential Guide to Travel Planning, which has been developed to encourage employers to develop sustainable travel plans for their businesses. She said well-designed plans could reduce the number of people driving to work by 15 per cent and more businesses were becoming aware of the benefits travel plans could offer. The guide has been produced for the Department for Transport’s National Business Travel Network and offers advice to employers about creating a travel plan. It is being sent to members of the network and will also be made widely available to employers across the country.