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Train operator urges leisure travellers to ‘do their bit to cut emissions’

London North Eastern Railway said carbon emissions from leisure travel would be reduced by 17% if everyone ditched their car for a train once.

12 October 2022

Carbon emissions would be cut by a “huge amount” if everyone in Britain switched one leisure trip from car to train, according to new analysis.

Train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) said carbon emissions from leisure travel would be reduced by 17% if everyone ditched their car for a train once a year.

LNER worked with researchers at University College London’s (UCL) Energy Institute to calculate the figure.

It also commissioned a survey of 2,211 adults in Britain which indicated that 6.1 million people intend to use the car for a day trip or holiday this autumn.

Some 36% of people are not aware of the impact small changes can have on the environment, the poll suggested.

LNER has produced a carbon calculator, which shows journeys by train produce less than a third of the carbon compared to those by cars.

The operator’s managing director, David Horne, said: “We know that being greener is hugely important but many of us aren’t sure on our role and how our individual actions can make a difference.

“As cars emit three times more carbon emissions than rail and with so many people planning on using the car for a leisure trip this autumn, we’re asking people to consider travelling by train just once to do their bit to cut emissions.

“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.”

Wembley has a capacity of 90,000.

Professor Paul Ekins of UCL added: “Often we talk about climate change in large scales such as icebergs melting and sea level rise, and this can make the issue feel overwhelming and unmanageable and discourage people from making changes in their lives that can help.

“What our research has concluded is that small changes made by enough people really do make a difference.”

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