Revealed: The UK’s eye-watering Easter holiday train ticket prices – which on average cost a third more than travelling by plane

  • Which? investigated the cheapest options for travelling on ten routes over Easter
  • It also compared the carbon emissions for the rail trips and flights 
  • READ MORE: The world’s first 3D-printed hotel is set to open in Texas

Consumer group Which? has uncovered startling differences in costs over the Easter break between UK train journeys and domestic flights.

The consumer champion carried out research to find the cheapest available options for travelling by train and by plane over the Easter break on ten UK routes.

The watchdog’s research found that train tickets are 35 per cent dearer. Just three out of ten routes are cheaper by train.

Which? reveals that the starkest difference in price was for the Edinburgh to Bournemouth route, a journey which costs an eye-watering 239 per cent more to complete by train. The cheapest return rail fare available costs £127, even when using split ticketing on the outward journey and an advance fare for the return. In contrast, the return flight costs just £38. 

Which? found that the Newcastle to Southampton route was one of just three that are cheaper to complete by train, with a return ticket priced at £107 when using split tickets, compared with £175 to travel by air. However, the return rail journey would take over 11 hours, more than four times the duration by plane. 

Which? carried out research to find the cheapest available options for travelling by train and by plane over the Easter break on ten UK routes, and found that train tickets are 35 per cent dearer

The only other two journeys that Which? found to be cheaper by rail were on the Edinburgh to Newquay route and the Bristol to Aberdeen route. The former costs 13 per cent less at £250 for a return fare, but would take more than seven times as long to complete, with a total return journey time of 22 hours and two minutes. The Bristol to Aberdeen route meanwhile costs just over a fifth less by rail (21 per cent) but takes 18 and a half hours for a return trip, more than six times as long as by plane. 

From tomorrow, (April 1) the cut to the air passenger duty (APD) for domestic flights will see airlines’ tax bills halved from £13 to £6.50 per passenger, with airlines incentivised to introduce more domestic routes as a result. 

Which? believes this may further widen the price gap between rail and air travel, particularly after recent hikes to rail fares of 5.9 per cent.

As a result, says Which?, we could soon see an uptick in pollution generated by inter-UK journeys, as fewer passengers opt to travel by rail. 

The consumer group also studied carbon emissions for train and plane journeys and found that plane journeys emit twice the CO2 on average (118 per cent more) when compared with travelling by train. 

While flying from Edinburgh to Bournemouth would be significantly easier on a traveller’s pocket, the environmental costs are much higher, Which? found. A flight on this route emits an average of 218kg of CO2 per person, 131 per cent more than travelling by train.

Which? found that the largest difference in pollution when comparing rail with air was for journeys between Newcastle and Southampton. Per person, carbon emissions on this route average 64.5kg by train, and 242kg per person by plane, 275 per cent more. 

Research by Which? found that plane journeys emit twice the CO2 on average (118 per cent more) when compared with travelling by train 

Overall, the most polluting plane routes, according to Atmosfair, were Bristol to Aberdeen (351kg of CO2), Edinburgh to Newquay (319kg of CO2) and London to Inverness (306kg of CO2). 

Commenting on the research, Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said: ‘As travellers become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their journeys, many face a difficult trade-off between the price of their ticket and the cost to the planet, with just three out of ten journeys we looked at working out cheaper by rail.

‘For those who prefer to travel by train, there are steps you can take to cut costs. Take the time to compare dates and times to see if cheaper fares are available, and look into what railcards you might be eligible for, as these can save you up to a third of the ticket price. You may be able to make further savings by checking if split-ticketing is an option on your chosen route.’

Source: Read Full Article