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Campaigners call on Premier League clubs to tackle soaring matchday travel costs

9 August 2013
Campaign for Better Transport has called on top football clubs to help fans tackle the spiralling cost of getting to matches and warned that poorly organised and increasingly expensive transport options could leave fans priced out of football before they get to the turnstiles.

In letters sent to the Chief Executives of all Premier League clubs, the Campaign highlights research showing fans want better choices in how they get to games and want their clubs to do more to help. A system of free local public transport with match tickets, a dedicated football railcard that allows fans to buy advance tickets tied to matches rather than trains, and help with lift-sharing top the list of measures fans want to see more of.

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

"Our research found that, up and down the country, many fans spend as much money on getting to the ground as they do on buying a ticket for the game. They want something cheaper and better than traffic jams and overpriced car parking. Clubs need to learn from other countries and work with train and bus companies to make travelling to the game an affordable part of the matchday experience."

Campaign for Better Transport research has highlighted three measures clubs should promote to make fans' transport easier:

1. A new 'One-Two Ticket' should be introduced and used by clubs, giving access to local public transport using a match ticket. This would mirror one of the transport success stories of last summer's Olympics and replicate Germany's highly successful KombiTicket, which is used for all games in the top flight of the Bundesliga and by many other events.

2. The Premier League and the Association of Train Operating Companies should introduce a specific football supporters’ railcard. Research shows rail is a particularly popular choice for away games. But fans often cannot currently take advantage of cheaper advance fares because of the threat of late changes to kick-off times. A football supporters’ railcard could allow fans to buy tickets that would link travel arrangements to a game rather than a train, giving the flexibility needed to book ahead and save money. This model could also be extended to other major events.

3. Lift sharing - sharing a lift allows fans to travel together, cutting costs and congestion. All clubs should formally endorse lift sharing and use their website and other promotional material to help fans find fellow supporters to travel with.

Sian Berry said

"As well as saving fans a fortune, a few simple steps like this would also make football more accessible and could help to increase attendances."

ENDS

For more information contact Sian Berry, 020 7566 6488 / 07984 773 468 sian.berry@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes

1. Full details of Campaign for Better Transport’s Door to Turnstile research can be found here

http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/files/admin/Door_to_Turnstile_CfBT_FIN...

Findings from Campaign for Better Transport's study include:

Transport cost

 

  • 23% of fans spend more on travel than they do on a match ticket.  Fans traveling by train spend the most followed by lone drivers. Fans that get to the game by bus spend the least.
  • The average fan spends £55 on match day, with £13 going on travel, while train travellers spend £74, with £26 of this spent getting to the game.

Transport mode

 

 

  • For home games, 43% of fans drive, with 35% taking the train for at least part of their journey.
  • For away games, 57% take the train for at least some games, 44% drive and 20% travel by coach.

Future improvements

 

 

  • Train travel is by far the most popular mode that fans ‘would like to use more’ (36%), followed by the bus (23%) and the tram or tube (17%).
  • Of the people who said they would like to use public transport more, cost was the most common barrier with ticket prices named by 28% of those who gave a reason.

The research identified good and bad practice at Premier League clubs:

 

The good:

 

  • Newcastle United's Magpie Mover gives season ticket holders matchday use of public transport across Tyne and Wear for £10 for the season. A similar although more expensive option is available to Sunderland fans.
  • Arsenal have worked with Transport for London and others to help fans leave the car at home. Decent transport planning means the percentage of fans arriving by car has fallen from 30% to 10% since moving to their new stadium

The bad:

 

 

  • Manchester United's Old Trafford ground is not well served by high-capacity public transport and has a travel plan nearly a decade out of date
  • Norwich City's Carrow Road sits very close to a mainline railway station. However, the club website promotes car travel and parking before public transport or other alternatives.

2. Link to further information about the Football Carshare project being organised by Lift Share can be found here https://footballcarshare.liftshare.com/ 

 

3. The German KombiTicket operates across the Bundesliga. A small supplement on match tickets goes to transport operators and in return match tickets can be used for travel across regional public transport before and after games. This has dramatically increased the number of fans arriving by public transport, tackled fare avoidance and traffic congestion, and increased revenue to transport operators. More details here.

A similar scheme was also used successfully during the 2006 World Cup held in Germany and in the 2012 London Olympics.