Greener travel choices: Kirkcaldy to Bristol
I had been meaning to visit my friend in Bristol for years and I finally commited to going for a long weekend last month. I researched all the options for a return journey from Kirkcaldy to Bristol. Here’s what came up:
Train – an eye-watering £178 one way and would take a total of 7.5 hours.
Bus – tickets as cheap as £33 one way (from Edinburgh) but would take a total of 11 hours.
Aeroplane – £56 for a one way flight and £11 for the train to the airport and would take a total of 4 hours including check-in time.
Which option would you take? Would you pay all that money to go by train? Would you survive an 11 hour bus journey? Or would you do the most time efficient thing and fly?
As with many purchases that we make, whether it be clothes or food, what isn’t clearly marked along with the financial cost, is the cost your choices have on the environment. Ecopassenger, compares the impact of travelling by train, car and plane. It clearly shows that flying has a much greater impact on the environment than going by train. For more information on air travel and its alternatives see Media Volunteer Steven’s blog.
So what did I do? I actually did all three. I flew on the way down as this was the cheapest and fastest option on a Friday night after work (£56, 4 hours). On the way back I worked out that train tickets can be cheaper if you go to the main cities e.g. London or Birmingham. With this in mind I booked a train ticket from Birmingham to Edinburgh (£44, 4 hours) and booked a bus ticket from Bristol to Birmingham (£9, 2 hours). I had a 2 hour wait in Birmingham in between the bus and train.
This way, my plane journey actually ended up being more expensive than my journey with the bus and train. The journey on the bus and train was longer but I really appreciated not having to go through security, and even got to explore Birmingham while I waited for my connecting train. It was affordable and much better for the environment. I saw more of the countryside and didn’t have the anxiety of being 35,000 ft up in the air.
If you would like to travel greener, it’s good to be flexible and explore all the options. If you are going for a meeting in London, why not take the train the night before and see the city? If you are going away for a weekend to Paris, why not see if you can take the sleeper train instead of flying?
Some other helpful websites are:
Loco2 – gives you options on European train travel.
Trainsplit – gives you cheaper rail travel options by splitting the tickets.|