How can travel plans be brought into the 21st century and become more useful for planners, developers and building managers?


Develop concepts for a new digital travel plans platform.

Travel plans are a mechanism we use to try to ensure that new developments are more sustainable. Whether for new homes, offices, schools or other developments, travel plans help encourage people to use their cars less and walk, cycle or use public transport for their journeys instead.

To work well, travel plans should successfully:

  • Set achievable, SMART and evidence-based targets for shifting the journeys of a development's users and visitors away from private vehicles to walking, cycling and public transport (e.g., residents, workers, customers, deliveries, pupils, parents etc., [depending on the land use type]); and
  • Encourage effective initiatives that are relevant to each development, which can be put in place to support achievement of the targets.

Managers of the development should also be ‘nudged’ to proactively encourage more sustainable and healthy travel behaviour amongst users and visitors by:

  • Tracking patterns of travel at the new development in a robust and reliable way – perhaps through new and innovative methods;
  • Achieving and/or revising the initially set mode shift targets over time;
  • Identifying new measures over time. which can help encourage further mode shift; and
  • Communicating results, updates, monitoring, and non-compliance warnings to TfL and local authorities where necessary and appropriate, along the way (e.g., to discharge planning obligations, receive helpful resources and report data, etc.,)


The new Mayor’s Transport Strategy projects that:

  1. by 2041, 80% of Londoners’ trips will be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport;
  2. by 2041, to reduce traffic volumes by about 6 million vehicle kilometres per day, including reductions in freight traffic at peak times;
  3. by 2041, for all Londoners to do at least the 20 minutes of active travel each day to stay healthy.

In response to this, TfL and others are looking to improve how travel plans work.

At present, many travel plans are unambitious, formulaic PDFs, which are ill-suited to specific sites and types of development and ineffective for increasing walking, cycling and public transport in the real world.

We want to find new ways of developing, using and monitoring these plans. London is changing and people's lifestyles and behaviours towards transport are changing – we want to make sure that travel plans can be effective across different parts of London and different types of development.

In order to get them right, it's important to have good data and to understand the impact they are achieving over time, so that we can adapt them and apply what we learn to other developments. 

Critically, a data-driven solution is needed to set site-specific targets, which are unique to each property development; otherwise TfL cannot secure money from the property developer to fund travel plan initiatives!

So, specifically, we want to ask participants in the City Data Hack 2018 to consider how tech and data solutions can help support and automate:

  • Baselining on day 1 – i.e., establishing the initial mode split of users and visitors (% travel by walking, cycling, public transport, car, etc.)
  • Data-driven target setting – i.e., setting an ambitious but achievable target for mode shift from the baseline. What levels of walking, cycling and public transport should the travel plan aim for in 1, 3, and 5 years, based on the type of development, location, local conditions etc.?
  • Monitoring & data collation – i.e., how should travel at the development be tracked over time? What is the best way to store and collate this data? What data would be important and what data would be superfluous?
  • Updates and alerts – i.e., how can TfL, the site managers, and the local authority be notified if no actions are taken as part of the Travel Plan or targets are not achieved? How should site managers be reminded to launch initiatives and proactively encourage sustainable and healthy travel behaviour?

"We want to increase the availability, transparency and quality of travel plan-sourced data on the travel habits of Londoners, which can then be stored in an easy-to-access open source database."


Research on the effectiveness of travel plans was undertaken by TfL City Planning in 2017. Seven local authorities and ten transport consultants were approached for feedback on travel planning.

Respondents indicated that travel plans are well established in London. However, local authorities believe that many are unambitious, formulaic and ill-suited to specific sites and development, despite being a vital tool to support a shift to more travel by active and sustainable modes.

There is significant qualitative evidence showing desire and commitment amongst relevant UK and London stakeholders to make travel plans more effective.

Our recent stakeholder consultation revealed that a radically updated and modernised travel plan system would be welcomed in London. There is consensus that significant mode shift could occur from better travel planning. This is supported by boroughs, consultants, and developers.

Open Data

Walking times between adjacent stations in Zones 1-3
Walking times for selected Central London journeys which could be quicker to walk
Air quality in London over a limited number of locations (RT) /AirQuality
Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (static)
Accessibility station facilities (static) /StopPoint (additional information)
Real-time step-free access /StopPoint
Step-free Tube guide

Public transport (Tube, Buses, DLR, Tram)
Journey planner (RT) /Journey
Status (RT) /Mode
Disruptions (RT) /Mode
Predictions (RT) /Arrivals
Embarkation points & facilities (RT) /StopPoint
Timetables, bus routes (static) /Line

Cycle hire docking station location, name and availability (RT) /BikePoint
Cycle hire journeys (static)
LU cycle parking (RT and static) /Place
Cycle preference: all the way/leave at station/take on transport/cycle hire /Journey
Cycle routes graded: easy/moderate/fast /Journey
Accidents involving cyclists (static) /AccidentStats
Cycle Superhighways and Quiet way 1 routes (static)

Freight and Roads

TfL managed roads (static) /Road
Traffic disruptions (RT & planned) /Road
Live traffic camera images CCTV ‘Jam Cams’ (RT) /Place
Variable Message (roadside signs showing planned works) Signs (RT) /Place
Coach bay and coach parking (static) /Place
Accidents involving road users (static) /AccidentStats
Geographic boundary of the Greater London Authority road network (static)
Congestion Charge (static)
Low Emissions Boundaries (static)