New research carried out by the Rail Delivery Group has shown that travelling by rail can be up to 80% cheaper than flying on similar routes.

The report found that travelling by air was almost £200 more for a journey from London to Edinburgh.

Whilst air travel can be seen to be cheaper on certain routes, when factoring in additional costs including baggage fees, seat selection charges and airport transfer fees, it became more expensive.

Speaking to RAIL, Jaqueline Starr, CEO at Rail Delivery Group said: “The perception has long been that flying is the cheaper option for domestic travel, but that’s not necessarily true. When you do a true cost comparison, rail travel can be considerably cheaper. We want to make sure customers have all the information so they can make an informed decision. “

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) welcomed the new research which also highlighted the green credentials of rail travel ahead of air, showing the reduced carbon emissions associated with rail, with a journey from London to Edinburgh up to 17 times better for the environment than flying.

This pattern was also reflected when looking at other popular routes with London to Newcastle 12 times greener than air and London to Manchester, nine times greener than air travel.

David Flesher, commercial director at LNER said: “Time and again people claim that it’s cheaper and quicker to fly between London and Edinburgh or London and Newcastle. However, when you properly compare the cost and the time then rail works out considerably quicker and cheaper.”

The research also highlighted other benefits of rail travel over travelling by air. Convenience was factored in with a vast majority of stations in major towns and cities across the country situated in central locations, unlike most airports which are usually found on the outskirts.

Rail also offered greater flexibility when compared to air travel with more frequent departures and arrivals into city centres according to the research. In fact, the research found that there are up to 50% more rail services available than air. Travelling by plane was also longer door-to-door for four of the six domestic routes that the Rail Delivery Group looked at, once security checks and airport transfer times had been factored in.

Starr added: “Beyond affordability, rail travel offers a more sustainable, and convenient way to travel. Customers considering travel within Britain will find our research highlights the advantages of choosing rail.”

Flesher commented: “This research is clear that whichever way you look at it, travelling by train is simply better. Better for your wallet, a better use of your time and better for the environment.”

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