A new report from Greenpeace has shown that the United Kingdom has the biggest price difference between trains and flights in Europe.
According to Greenpeace, the study compared the cost of train and plane tickets for 112 routes between major cities in 27 European countries and found that taking the train can cost passengers four times the price of a flight on average.
“Researchers at Greenpeace compared the cost of train and plane tickets for 112 routes between large cities in 27 European countries. They recorded the prices on nine different dates ranging from four months to just a couple of days before departure to take account of price changes and last-minute deals,” Greenpeace explains.
As part of this study, the researchers at Greenpeace found that the prices of flights were lower on 79 of the 112 routes.
Moreover, it was also found that while, on average, taking a train was twice as expensive as taking a flight, the difference in prices was vastly more dramatic on some specific routes.
Data shows that travelling from Barcelona to London by train was ten times more expensive, representing the biggest price difference of all the destinations included in the analysis.
On the other hand, it was revealed that flying was cheaper on 12 routes in the UK, including the domestic ones between London and Scotland.
The price difference between taking a train and a flight was blamed by Greenpeace on uneven rules that benefit the low-cost airlines.
Concerned about climate change and emissions, Greenpeace UK’s director of policy, Doug Parr, said that by there being price difference, millions of Brits are being encouraged ‘to keep throwing fuel on the climate inferno.’
“Flying only looks like a bargain because the cost of pollution is so cheap. Low-cost airlines are paying negligible tax while imposing low wages and poor conditions on staff,” Parr added.
It has been stressed that many of the flights that are offered by low-cost airlines emit up to ten times more greenhouse gases. For this reason, Greenpeace has called on the authorities to introduce stricter rules.
Greenpeace said that all short-haul flights should be banned in order to make rail more affordable than air transport when there are rail alternatives.
In addition, it has also called the governments in Europe to introduce climate tickets that are valid on all means of transport.
Data provided by the European Environment Agency has shown that, on average, planes emit 4.4 more greenhouse gas emissions than trains. Nonetheless, figures may vary from one country to another.