Why the Train is the Best Way to Travel Sustainably to London for an Autumn Break – and Why it’s Easier too

· Andrew Porter-Emery · Travel

Take the train to reduce your carbon footprint.

Azuma Train Exterior

Travel from Leeds to London from £29.70 one way, in as little as 2 hours 16 minutes* when travelling with LNER. Book your tickets now.

Planning a trip down to London? Take the train and do it in a more sustainable way.

There’s no better way to see off the post-summer blues than with a trip to the capital. And if you’re planning a trip, it’s good to know that not only is the train safe, convenient and relaxing, it also has less environmental impact than many other ways of getting there. Hop on the train at Leeds and you’ll likely be travelling on a modern, low-emission train, but that’s only the beginning of the many ways that LNER is working to safeguard the ecological future for travellers.

Catch the train for carbon cutting

Train travel is better for the environment than flying or driving, but by how much? Well, LNER has a handy carbon calculator so you see exactly how much less carbon your journey will produce on the train – perfect when research shows that 70% of adults* are somewhat concerned about travel’s environmental impact. From Leeds to London by rail, you’ll generate around 12kg of CO2. By car? That’s over 40kg, while a flight soars to around 75kg. It’s easy to see why the European Environmental Agency concluded that rail is the best mode of transport in comparison to car and air, especially when a fully loaded train can take up to 500 cars off the road.

Azuma trains can make a big difference

Iner Sustainability

LNER’s commitment to the environment and its customers was made clear by their investment in Azuma trains for the East Coast mainline service. This fleet uses Japanese bullet train technology to reduce journey times, deliver a better passenger experience and, crucially, produce 97%*** less CO2 than planes. You can relax on board with more legroom than the old trains, enjoying more peace and quiet, all while knowing you’re helping LNER move toward achieving their target of net zero carbon emissions by 2045.

Feel the benefits of not driving in London

London Traffic

Cars don’t just come with more emissions, they come with more expense. Head to London and not only do you have to negotiate one of the busiest cities in Europe, you’ll also have to find parking. Parking in London is easily the most expensive in the United Kingdom, with an average car park fee of £11 per hour in 2021. Head to the city and you’ll have to pay the congestion fee too – that’s currently £15 per day. You might also have to pay the £12.50 daily ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) charge if your car doesn’t meet certain emission standards. It soon adds up.

Get there faster by train

Azuma Train

You might hit fast speeds on the motorway, but nothing like the 125 miles per hour you reach on an Azuma train, and let’s face it, you’ll slow to a crawl once you reach London in a car. In 2018, average traffic speeds plunged in central London, the place that most people visit, to a snail-like 7.1 miles per hour. The 2 hour, 16 minute train journey from Leeds to London Kings Cross takes approximately 3 hours, 40 minutes by car.

The green approach doesn’t stop when you get off the train

Canary Wharf

Rail travel is already a significant factor in hitting decarbonisation targets, but it goes further. That’s why LNER has produced a Green Guide, full of tips and info on the places you can visit on the East Coast main line, with a focus on eco-friendly attractions and sustainable places to visit. Heading to London? Grab their guide for insider tips on amazing boutiques, antique shops, zero waste restaurants and more.

And it’s a whole lot more relaxing too

Iner Sustainability

Travelling by train isn’t just more sustainable than car or air travel, it’s significantly more comfortable too. There’s plenty of legroom, and you can order food and drink delivered to your table with the Let’s Eat at Your Seat service – with complimentary breakfast, dinner or lunch brought to you in First Class. Enjoy the free onboard wifi to browse the internet or catch up on some last minute emails. Plug your tablet into the chargers so you don’t run out of juice and that trip to London will whizz by.

*YouGov data, July 2022. **At least 10,000 seats available at stated price or lower between 31.10.22 to 15.12.22. Subject to availability. Standard Advance off peak services only, Monday to Friday. 2 hours 16 minutes is the most common journey time between Leeds and London King's Cross, Monday to Friday. ***Assuming 82% loading, using conversion of actual Azuma energy data between KGX and EDB vs Gov.uk conversion factors for a domestic flight of the same distance.