UK to Net Zero Requires 30% Increase in Rail Travel, Trainline Reports

Trainline has published a new report declaring that a 30 percent increase in rail travel is required by 2035 for the UK to meet its net zero goals.

As part of its ‘I Came By Train’ campaign, the company is calling for collective action to motivate more people to use rail travel. It states that this shift is necessary for the UK to achieve net zero by 2050.

As a result, Trainline has launched the ‘Project 30%’ challenge to drive this increase.

Train travel is still under-appreciated as a significant means to reduce one's carbon footprint
Train travel is still under-appreciated as a significant means to reduce one’s carbon footprint

Trainline’s new insights report shows that two-thirds of people claim they want to make greener choices, and 58 percent have considered switching to the train to enhance sustainability.

However, it also revealed that the impact of travel in reducing a carbon footprint is under-appreciated, with the public mistakenly identifying other measures such as recycling, switching to renewable energy and turning off lights as more impactful.

The new report now aims to highlight the impact of switching to rail, even for the occasional journey. For example, if those who considered switching to rail travel swapped one 200-mile journey each year, this would deliver one-third of the 30 percent goal. This journey would be the equivalent of travelling from London to Birmingham.

Trainline CEO Jody Ford said:

“Project 30% is a collective mission, and its success is in our collective interest. The answer to achieving this goal lies in collective action. Together we can help close the existing gap between the emissions cuts required and existing policy ambitions, by enabling and reinforcing positive behavioural change in the way people travel.

“When we talk about attracting 30% more people to rail, that isn’t just a challenge the rail industry needs to take on, it’s a challenge for broader society. How do we get 30% more day trippers to take the train? How do we get 30% more business travellers to take the train? How do we get 30% more sports fans, festival goers and shoppers to take the train?

“Addressing these questions is where I see the future of ‘I Came by Train’ as a campaigning coalition, that brings together tech, rail, policy makers, NGOs and community groups to act together to support people to accelerate their own individual positive changes.”

Trainline’s full insights report is available here. It includes a survey of 2,500 UK adults, with the final sample weighted to be nationally representative of the UK general adult population.

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