Planning for Sustainable Travel

This research was carried out in four parts: (1) review of the evidence base concerning the influence of urban structure on travel patterns, (2) analysis of current trends using the National Travel Survey, (3) review of current practitioner engagement using case study interviews, and (4) development of a best practice guide (hard and soft copy) on integrating decisions on the location and design of growth settlements into sustainable transport planning. The study reviews the adequacy of existing guidance on the ways in which transport issues should influence planning decisions, identifies barriers that may be hindering better decision-making and explores possible solutions. The study takes place in the context of the planning policy aspiration, first formalised in the 1994 version of PPG13.

Attempts to influence land use patterns and promote more sustainable travel need to be seen against the background of enduring trends such as annual increases in travel volumes and increased dependency on the private car. Recent macro-economic difficulties also add a further layer of complexity to the context and to understanding the interactions between urban structure and travel. The UK Government has recently committed the UK to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80%, on 1990 levels, by 2050. This strategic aspiration adds a much greater urgency to the debate on urban structure and travel.


  • Hickman, R., Seaborn, C., Headicar, P. and Banister, D. (2009) Planning for sustainable travel. Summary guide. London: Halcrow and CfIT. ISBN 978-1-84864-033-7.
  • Hickman, R., Seaborn, C, Headicar, P., and Banister, D. (2010) Planning for Sustainable Travel - Integrating Spatial Planning and Transport. In, Givoni, M. and Banister, D. (eds.) (2010) Integrated Transport: from Policy to Practice. Routledge. 368 pp. ISBN: 978-0-415-54893-9.

Further Information

For more information and output from this research project, please see the Planning for Sustainable Travel website or contact Dr Robin Hickman.