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Choose public transport to avoid holiday jams

21 April 2011
Campaign for Better Transport is urging people to choose public transport wherever possible when making their long weekend getaway.

With millions heading away over the bank holiday weekends, the roads will be even more congested than usual, which means more traffic jams and an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. An estimated 20 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions in the UK are from road transport.

So whether you're heading to the beach, the countryside or to watch the royal couple pass by, you can cut your carbon footprint by taking the trip by public transport.  For instance, driving from Leeds to London to watch the royal wedding procession emits double the amount of carbon emissions as travelling by train, and more than four times as much as travelling by coach. Flying from London to Newquay to soak up the sunshine emits three times as much carbon dioxide as taking the train (for more examples see notes).

Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaign for Better Transport's public transport campaigner, said: "No one wants to spend their spare time sitting in traffic jams or searching for parking spaces. By leaving the car at home and choosing more sustainable options like public transport, walking or cycling, you help reduce transport's effect on climate change and keep your blood pressure down."

Notes to Editors

1. 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).

2. UK greenhouse gas emissions figures taken from The Department of Energy and Climate Change.

3. Examples of journeys using different modes of transport. Car trips are based on 2 passengers.

CO2 emissions for a trip to the countryside:

Newcastle upon Tyne to Windermere in the Lake District (107.7 miles)
By large car: 22.3kg
By small car: 11.1kg
By train: 9.3kg
By bus/coach: 5.2kg

Birmingham to Machynlleth, Snowdonia National Park (93.4 miles)
By large car: 19.4kg
By small car: 9.6kg
By train: 8kg
By bus/coach: 4.5kg

CO2 emissions for a trip to a family attraction:

Bristol to Alton Towers Theme Park, Staffordshire (138.8 miles)
By large car: 31.1kg
By small car: 15.4kg
By train: 11.9kg
By bus/coach: 6.7kg

Leeds to Westminster Abbey, London (178 miles)
By large car: 36.6kg
By small car: 18.2kg
By train: 15.3kg
By bus/coach: 8.6kg

CO2 emissions for a city break:

London to Glasgow (365.8 miles)
By large car: 75.8kg
By small car: 37.4kg
By train: 31.4kg
By bus/coach: 17.7kg
By plane: 100.9kg

Manchester to Edinburgh (197.5 miles)
By large car: 41.0kg
By small car: 20.4kg
By train: 17kg
By bus/coach: 9.5kg
By plane: 54.5kg

CO2 emissions for a trip to the seaside:
Manchester to Blackpool (46 miles)
By large car: 9.4kg
By small car: 4.7kg
By train: 4kg
By bus/coach: 2.2kg

London to Newquay (254.9 miles)
By large car: 59kg
By small car: 29.4kg
By train: 24.5kg
By bus/coach: 12.3kg
By plane: 78.6kg

London to Brighton (50.5 miles)
By large car: 10.1kg
By small car: 5kg
By train: 4.3kg
By bus/coach: 2.4kg