A planning condition may require a school to submit a school travel plan if the planning application is expected to cause an increase in traffic to and from the school.
You may be required to submit a travel plan if the school has an existing, identified, problem with traffic congestion.
We will be notified when planning applications require a travel plan.
Local planning policy
'A planning application for the school development which will result in an increase in pupil numbers must be accompanied by a signed School Travel Proforma where appropriate, the appropriateness having been decided by the local planning authority'.
The planning authority will determine the timescale within which the school will be required to achieve a plan to level one, two and ultimately, three.
To demonstrate that a level one has been reached, the following will have to be provided:
- The name of our travel planning contact
- The name of your school travel co-ordinator
- The date of the first meeting of the working group
- Detail of the school travel initiatives you are involved with
- The signature of the head teacher, to demonstrate commitment
Additional timescales will also be set for the school to achieve level two (draft stage) or level three (owned, sustainable) status.
If the school does not achieve the level three status in the timescale required, it may affect any future planning applications.
Schools submitting a school travel plan as a condition of a planning application should also include the following information:
- Your status eg LEA / foundation / voluntary aided / private
- Form of planning application eg County Council or District Council
- Type of school eg infant / first / junior / middle / primary / combined / secondary / upper / grammar / special
- Planned development eg enhanced facilities, new facilities, expansion of existing site, relocation of school or new site, the amalgamation of schools on one sit
You will also need to consider the implications for school travel if:
- The school roll to remain unchanged - what is the current situation? New facilities may lead to wider / increased use - what level of extra use? Expansion will result in increased roll - how can impact be managed?
- Relocation will result in impact on highways - how can impact be reduced / negated? Amalgamation will result in increased roll - how can impact be manage
- Is there an acceptable alternative that has fewer implications?
If not there is no alternative, the development of school travel plan is required which will lead to:
- Highway improvements funded by developer, agreed by traffic management, travel planning and District Council
- Additional provision and promotion of public / home-to-school transport
- Restriction of on-site parking facilities
- Promotion of and encouragement for walking, cycling, car-sharing
- Improved facilities for walking and cycling
The following must be considered in all developments / improvements:
- Improved pedestrian and cyclist routes to school to enhance safety and reduce traffic speeds
- Improvements to highway network to discourage car use and reduce traffic speeds
- Segregated accesses and routes on-site (pedestrian, cyclist and vehicles) to enhance safety
- Traffic calming on site to reduce vehicle speeds
- Restrictions on visitor / parent parking on site
- Secure, covered, overlooked cycle storage facilities
- Lockers / storage facilities for wet clothing, helmets and equipment
- Wet weather shelters / waiting areas
- Bus / minibus / car-sharing priorities or facilities
Preparing an application
The application will need to include information about what is proposed for the site, including plans, sketches and location of the proposed works. Some structures may need planning consent.
Pre-application discussions with the relevant planning authority at an early stage are very important as these will identify any issues that need addressing and should make the passage of the application smoother and swifter. It is also far quicker and cheaper to change the application at a very early stage, should this become necessary, rather than to respond once the scheme is in the public domain and re-consultations are necessary.
There is a great deal of value and importance placed on schools doing community consultations as the proposals are drawn up. This can assist in giving a flavour of various planning and non-planning issues that may emerge later.
You need to liaise closely with the architects to ensure that any issues arising are adequately addressed.
For additional advice on preparing a planning application:
- Application forms
- School travel proforma (copy below)
- Plans (location, site, elevation, acceptable scales)
- General design advice
- Design constraints - including architects' considerations
Contact 01296 382111
The Department For Transport's (DfT) Planning Policy Guideline 13 (PPG13) seeks to integrate planning and transport at the national and local level to promote more sustainable transport choices. Local Authorities have to consider whether planning applications will deliver this objective and will attach either planning conditions or planning obligations onto a planning application.
The school travel plan will be made binding through planning conditions attached to the planning permission. Conditions attached to a planning permission will be enforceable against the applicant.
A planning condition may be used to require that specific aspects of the plan (for example, specific initiatives or measures) be implemented, or may be used to prevent development on the application site until a particular event occurs. The measures that form part of the plan may include:
- Provision of secure cycle parking and safe pedestrian and cycle routes
- Provision of facilities for public transport
- The provision of information to staff and students about public transport, walking and cycling access to the site
This list is not exhaustive.
If you have any queries related to this information, please contact
Buckinghamshire County Council:
Education - 01296 382895
Planning - 01296 382111
Architects - 01296 382741
Travel planning - 0845 2302882
Highways - 0845 2302882
We have introduced an application form to simplify the procedure to be followed by all schools considering new schemes. It should be noted that these procedures must be followed for all schemes no matter how small.
The application form provides us with the necessary information about the scheme and ensures all provisional advice related to the proposed building works which include structural, mechanical and electrical works, health and safety (including checks for asbestos), planning approvals and financial and legal regulations are obtained.
There are schools where we do not hold the legal ownership or responsibility; these would include voluntary aided, voluntary controlled and foundation schools. The School Trustees or Governors hold the responsibility for the school buildings and therefore any large projects involving structural alterations will require their approval. Small-scale works such as redecoration or non-structural type improvements would not apply.