LNER encourages Britons to take one less car journey in leisure trips and use rail instead

Marketa Horpeniakova, Published on 15/10/2022
LNER encourages Britons to take one less car journey in leisure trips and use rail instead

If everyone planning to travel in the autumn made one journey by rail instead of the car, it could lead to a 28.4% reduction in total carbon emissions from travel.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is encouraging people planning last-minute leisure trips to take one less car journey this year by showing the collective ‘green good’ it will do. Almost half of British adults plan to take an extended holiday in the autumn, which will have an impact on the environment as 6.1 million people plan to use the car to travel for leisure. LNER highlights that a total of 186,200 tCO2e of carbon emissions could be saved if they each made just one journey by train instead of by car. The impact of autumn holiday travel has been analyzed by LNER in collaboration with experts from the Energy Institute at University College London (UCL).

LNER is trying to demonstrate to people the impact of taking at least one leisure journey by train instead of by car. Average carbon emissions from cars are three times higher than from trains, meaning that the collective power of one small change can make a monumental shift. While some travellers may feel that their single journey will make no difference, the collective impact of changing just one journey would be huge.

“Collectively we could save enough carbon to fill Wembley Stadium 25 times, which is a huge amount of carbon we could prevent from being emitted into the atmosphere. Our research also showed that collectively Britons could save the time equivalent to over eight human lifetimes by using the train each year, meaning we’re giving back to ourselves as well as the environment with this change,” said David Horne, Managing Director at LNER.

The research shows that 70% of adults are at least somewhat concerned about the environmental impact of travel and more than a third (34%) would like to reduce their carbon footprint, but 28% feel that changing their travel habits will not have a big enough impact on the environment. Almost two-thirds of adults (63%) feel that there should be more assistance to help people understand and calculate their carbon footprint. A carbon calculator introduced by LNER should help people to discover the difference that a journey made by rail could have. For example, the calculator shows that a one-way journey between York and London produces just 12.34 KG CO2 e by train, whereas a journey by car would produces a shocking 41.36 KG CO2 e.

“What our research has concluded is that small changes made by enough people really do make a difference. Just one journey switched from car or bus to train by everyone who takes a leisure trip in a year could reduce carbon emissions by over 1 million tonnes CO2, or 16.6% of emissions from leisure trips, or nearly 1% of all UK 2019 transport emissions. This is a really big contribution from just one small change in a year to people’s daily lives” added Paul Ekins, Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources.



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