School travel plans and planning applications

School travel plans and planning applications

A planning condition may require a school to submit a school travel plan if the planning application is expected to cause a material increase in travel demand to and from the school.  

You will be required to submit a travel plan if there is a significant increase in the size and consequent trips to and from the school.

We will be notified when planning applications require a travel plan.

The planning authority will determine the timescale within which the school will be required to achieve an approved travel plan which may be required to be in place before the application is registered as a valid submission and/or determined.  If the school does not produce an approved travel plan in the timescale required, it may affect the outcome of any current or future planning applications.
The development of school travel plan is required  which will lead to:
  • Highway improvements funded by developer, agreed by traffic management, travel planning and Buckinghamshire County Council as the Highways Authority
  • 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. Contact the planners for more advice in this regard.

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 undertaking consultations with the whole school community as the proposals are drawn up. This can assist in giving a flavour of various planning and non-planning issues that may emerge later.

National Planning Policy Framework

The National Planning Ploicy Framework was published on 27 March 2012.  This is a key part of Government reforms to make the planning system less complezx and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth.

Transport policies have an important role to play in facilitating sustainable development but also in contributing to wider sustainability and health objectives.

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. 

Contact details

If you have any queries related to this information, please contact

Buckinghamshire County Council:
General switchboard - 0845 3708090
Travel planning - 0845 2302882
Highways - 0845 2302882