Text Size

Current Size: 100%

Transport charity asks football fans to help tackle transport to matches

23 August 2012
Campaign for Better Transport is launching a new research survey [1], which will run during the whole of the 2012/13 football season, looking at how travel to matches can be improved.

An estimated 47 per cent of football fans currently travel to matches by car [2]. The charity, which is researching why public transport options aren't more viable, is asking fans to tell them about their experiences of attending both home and away matches. It will be publishing a study and offering recommendations to premiership clubs at the end of the season.

Transport planning for the Olympics has shown that well-planned travel to sporting events can be based around public transport, walking and cycling and avoid traffic jams and parking problems around stadiums. Free travel cards, promotion of sustainable travel options, clear public transport information, and Park and Ride services has meant targets of 0% car use for spectators in the Olympic venues' travel plans.

The total number of ticket holders for the Olympics is 10.8 million people [3], which is less than the total attendance last season in the Premier League where each week more than 650,000 fans travel to matches [4] – four times the number that landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day in 1944 [5].  With hundreds of thousands of fans travelling to matches in other leagues, this regular mass mobilisation has a big impact on our transport system, and many areas suffer traffic and parking problems from the influx of spectators.
When the 47 per cent of fans who travel by car were asked what would encourage them to take the train, the top answer at 64 per cent was cheaper train fares [2].
Transport commentator and football fan Christian Wolmar is supporting the campaign. He says:

"Travelling to football matches is precisely the sort of journey that is best undertaken by public transport. That allows people to enjoy the game, and a drink, without getting held up in jams and is, of course, much better for the environment. There is often not enough car parking and the roads around the ground are gridlocked. Yet, in my experience, some clubs do very little to encourage people to come to matches by any means other than driving. It is time that changed which is why I greatly welcome this campaign.

"Often, when you get to the local station, there is no explanation about how to reach the football stadium. So clubs and local councils could do a much better job of helping people get out of their cars when travelling to matches."

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, says:

"We’re hoping our appeal for stories and suggestions from fans will uncover ideas that can help improve football travel and also help with many similar journeys people make to unfamiliar towns and cities. We urge all football fans, from clubs in all the different  leagues, to visit our website and tell us how they get football matches when they don’t want to drive, and what problems need to be solved to help them to switch from the car."
Researching the opinions of fans, who may choose not to use public transport due to lack of information, high fares and inflexible tickets, could be influential in helping premiership clubs to improve their transport plans, together with transport operators.

Notes to Editors

[1] Campaign for Better Transport's football travel survey: www.bettertransport.org.uk/football
[2] http://www.football-league.co.uk/staticFiles/65/51/0,,10794~151909,00.pd...
[3] http://www.london2012.com/about-us/the-people-delivering-the-games/locog...
[4] Total Premier League attendance in 2011/12 was 13,148,269 from here: http://www.soccerstats.com/attendance.asp?league=england
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings