Securing travel plans through the planning approvals process: A case study of practice from Victoria, Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, planning - surveys, place - australasia, place - urban, policy - sustainable


Travel plan, Sustainable transport, Urban development


Travel plans can be required for new developments through the land use planning and approvals process. They contain specific measures that can be implemented at a site to reduce car use and encourage the use of more sustainable transport modes. Travel plans have been used in various countries as a requirement of development approval, including the United States, United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. However, the scale of practice in Australia is largely unknown.

Using a case study from the Australian state of Victoria, a survey of councils was undertaken to assess the scale of travel planning practice for new developments. Results showed that half of the councils had previously required a travel plan for a new development, with a total of around 100 travel plans secured through the planning process between 2010 and 2012 alone. Key issues facing councils include the lack of any state planning policy that is supportive of travel plans, difficulties with monitoring and enforcement, and general uncertainty regarding effectiveness. Some of these issues could be addressed through the preparation of travel planning guidance specific to new developments, comprehensive training, and changes to planning policy and enforcement practices.

Future research is needed to contrast experience with other jurisdictions and to better understand the effectiveness of travel plans at new developments, both in terms of their process and outcomes.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.