Policy Green Travel Plan

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1. Introduction

What is a Green Travel Plan

This is East Devon District Council’s Green Travel Plan.

The move into Blackdown House in Honiton has presented us with the opportunity to review our Council travel plan. Whilst we recognise that there is still a place for single user private cars within this plan, we now want to encourage staff, members and visitors to use alternative, sustainable transport methods including walking, cycling, using public transport or car-sharing wherever this is possible.

BREEAM provides our assessment methodology and it considers environmental, social and economic sustainability performance. A travel plan is defined as a strategy for managing all travel and transport within an organisation, principally to increase choice and reduce reliance on the car by seeking to improve access to a site or development by sustainable modes of transport.


Why have a Green Travel Plan

The benefits of sustainable travel include less congestion on the road network, reduced pollution and a healthier population.

East Devon District Council is a major employer locally and we therefore have a responsibility to set an example by promoting and influencing sustainable travel whenever and wherever possible.

Large numbers of employees have meant that the Council has had a large travel carbon ‘footprint’. It is our responsibility to reduce carbon emissions as much as possible. This can be addressed in part by influencing how employees travel to and from work and how they travel around the district on Council business.

Carbon footprint: the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organisation, event or product. [2]

One in five (19.7%) of 40-60 year olds (3 million adults) are physically inactive (completing less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a week). [3]

Experts advise us that because walking is both accessible and acceptable to a wide range of people it has the potential to increase physical activity in adults. Encouraging just 10 minutes of brisk walking a day can be a step in the right direction and even at that level we can see some health benefits compared to doing nothing at all. [4]

Encouraging our staff, members and visitors to choose sustainable travel options, whether by walking, cycling or other means, would not only provide benefits now, but is also likely to act as a role model for future generations.

National context

Department of Transport figures for road traffic by vehicle type in Great Britain show that the number of vehicle miles driven on our roads in the UK has risen by nine and a half times since 1950. [5]

Heavy dependency on car use leads to traffic congestion, pollution, and physical inactivity, which impose high direct and indirect costs on society. [6]

The Department for Transport’s National Travel Survey: England 2014 identified that:

  • 64% of all trips were by car (driver or passenger), 22% by foot, 7% by bus, 3% by train, 2% by bike and 2% other
  • 66% of trips were under 5 miles of which 56% were by car, 33% by foot and 2% by bike
  • The share of active modes of travel (walking and cycling) has decreased from 28% to 24% and the share of public transport has increased from 9% to 11% since 1995/97
  • The average number of walking trips was 31% less in 2014 than 1995/97 (200 walking trips per person in 2014).

The Government’s  National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2012 sets out planning policies for England and how these should be applied. The Framework highlights the importance of promoting and facilitating sustainable travel and providing high quality public transport facilities in developments. It states the importance of organisation travel plans as a key tool in mitigating the transport impacts of development.



When this policy has been published and will be reviewed

Policy published 11 August 2020 (due for review by 1 January 2023)