New research from Trainline has found that Premier League fans who currently travel by car for away matches could collectively save 4,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions this season by taking the train instead – equivalent to the emissions generated by almost 14,000 people flying from London to Berlin for the EURO 24 final next year (1). This new analysis from Trainline – using its Reasonable by Rail database of inter-city journeys – highlights the collective potential for reducing emissions if more fans chose rail for their away trips. This weekend alone, more than 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved if away fans heading to Premier League fixtures switch from car to rail.
The greatest potential for reducing travel emissions comes from West Ham fans travelling to their match at Liverpool, followed by Newcastle United fans travelling to Sheffield United and Everton fans travelling to Brentford. For example two fans who share a car journey from London to Anfield would save 32Kg of CO2 emissions between them by opting for the train instead.
The growing importance of sustainability issues for fans is highlighted by the finding that 73%2 of those who travel to away games want to bring down their carbon footprint from travelling, according to a survey commissioned by Trainline. But despite changing attitudes towards sustainability, car remains the preferred mode of transport for 38%, even though journeys by car emit 7x more CO2 than taking the train. **
The proportion of away fans driving to matches has ultimately remained relatively static over the past decade, with a report from Campaign for Better Transport in 2013 estimating 40% of Premier League fans preferred to travel by car for away matches.
Jess Rogers, Sports presenter and Co-founder of Carbon Jacked, regularly uses rail to travel to sports events all over Europe and is encouraging fans to take the train where possible: “As fans we all want to protect the game we love. From extreme heat to flooding, football is under threat from climate change. Using the train when you can is a fantastic way for both fans and clubs to make a real difference environmentally. It’s also more enjoyable and you get to avoid traffic on the roads – it’s an open goal.”
Mike Hyde, Chief Data Officer, Trainline, said: “Football has a real strength to both unite and rally people – exactly the energy we need to push sustainability up the travel agenda. We know fans want to bring down their carbon footprint, but too few people realise you produce seven times less CO2 from a journey by taking the train instead of driving. For the first time, our data demonstrates the contribution the train can make in reducing the carbon impact of away travel, and we want to encourage football fans to lead the way by supporting low-carbon travel as well as their team.”
(1) Based on calculations from Sustainable Travel
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