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Football fans to spend festive period on the road

26 December 2012
Campaign for Better Transport and the Football Supporters' Federation are concerned about the long distances travelled by fans over the Christmas and New Year period, as they launch a major national survey of football travel.

The survey is launched on Boxing day (1). The festive period is a busy time for fixtures, despite trains and buses being in short supply over the holidays. Analysis by CfBT of this year's schedule shows that the average Premier League fan following their team over Christmas and New Year will have to travel 467 miles, with little option but to take the car.

Research by Campaign for Better Transport (2) found:


  • The longest away trips are for Sunderland fans (786 miles in total), Newcastle fans (706 miles) and Tottenham fans (670 miles). The shortest journeys are needed to support West Ham (84 miles) and Wigan Athletic (190 miles)
  • The longest single journey will be made by Sunderland fans, who played Southampton on 22 December - necessitating a 546 mile round trip as the crow flies. By road the trip would be more than 320 miles each way.
  • The next longest journeys are for QPR fans travelling to Newcastle on 22 December (250 miles each way) and Newcastle United fans travelling to Arsenal on 29 December (245 miles)
  • The closest local derbies are between Chelsea and QPR on 2 January and between Wigan and Everton on 26 December and between Manchester United and Wigan on 1 January.

With the new survey, Campaign for Better Transport and the Football Supporter Federation are launching a comprehensive assessment of fans travel.


Between now and the end of the season, fans are being invited to fill in an online questionnaire asking the about travel habits. The findings of the research will be published by CfBT at the end of the season.

The research will look at existing travel arrangements and what can be done to make getting to and from grounds convenient and affordable. The research will also look at examples of good practice from elsewhere. For example, some German teams include the use of public transport in their ticket price.

A spokesman for the Football Supporters Federation, said

“Fans go to enormous lengths to see their team play and this is especially true over the Christmas period. It is easier to commit to that level of support if public transport to games is accessible and affordable. The Olympics showed what can be done and the FSF would like the football and transport authorities to work closely together to offer football's most loyal fans genuine travel options."

Sian Berry, Sustainable Transport Campaigner at Campaign for Better Transport said

“Clubs sometimes forget that fans’ experience does not begin when they go through the turnstile. Travelling to the game is an important part of the experience for many fans, but congestion and delays can ruin a day out. We need fans from all clubs to tell us about their experiences – good and bad.”


Notes to Editors

1. The Fans’ Travel Survey can be completed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2013-football-travel

2. Campaign for Better Transport’s festive football travel research looked at Premier League fixtures from 22 December 2012 to 2 January 2013. All teams will play two home and two away matches during this period with the exception of Arsenal and West Ham, whose Boxing Day fixture has been postponed due to a planned industrial action on London Underground. Further detail of the findings can be found here.

3. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

4. The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) is the democratic organisation representing the rights of fans and arguing the views of football supporters in England and Wales.