7 reasons to go on a car-free adventure

22 September 2023

Every year on or around 22 September, cities across the globe celebrate World Car Free Day, encouraging motorists to give up their cars for a day. There are many benefits of going car-free – including reduced air pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling in a safer environment.

But considering going car-free isn't just for one day a year so we're sharing seven wonderful reasons why you should take the train on your next trip for a greener, healthier adventure.

1. Greener, healthier journeys

Cars and planes create 58% of the UK's transport CO2 emissions, whereas the entire rail network (with all the trains to everywhere) adds up to just 1.5%(1). So take the 'I came by train' pledge to help fight climate change and save the planet one journey at a time.

2. Good for the soul

It doesn't matter if you're travelling with friends, family or on your own, taking the train can be good for the soul. Sit back, relax and watch the world go by in quiet reflection or spend time catching up with loved ones as you make your way to your destination.

3. A window with a view

From the fascinating urban landscapes, as you leave a bustling city, to the magnificent countryside scenery, there's always something to see from your train window. Get unparalleled views of the glorious British coastline on routes like Wales' Cambrian Coast Line, Cornwall's St Ives Bay Line and the Cumbrian Coast Line nestled between the Lake District and the Irish Sea. Or if it's dramatic rugged hills and mountains you're after, journeys such as Scotland's West Highland Line or Highland Mainline and the rolling peaks of the Peak District's Hope Valley will be ideal.

Cumbrian Coast Line. Photo: Community Rail Cumbria

4. Let the train take the strain

Leave the stress of roadworks, traffic and finding that perfect parking space behind when you go by train. Whether you're heading to the city for a weekend of shopping, lacing up your walking boots to explore the rugged countryside or taking the family on a delightful day out, consider taking the train to deliver you to the heart of where you need to be.

5. More than a journey

Taking the train doesn't have to just be about getting from a to b. Make your journey part of the experience by getting lost in a book, playing travel games with the family, listening to audio guides or window gazing.

6. Rail to trail to bus

Explore new places on foot or by bike as the train connects you to the great outdoors. Get those walking boots muddy or take two wheels to explore the picturesque walking and cycling routes, easily reached from railway stations across Britain. Consider exploring further by bus too, whether it's a scenic bus trip or a practical one to connect you to where you need to be, you'll be helping the environment and making new memories too with the ultimate green transport trip.

7. Save money

Travelling by train doesn't have to be expensive, as long as you know a few tricks you should be able to find an affordable route that could save you money compared to the costs of exclusively using your car.
• Book in advance - Book up to 12 weeks in advance and you could save an average of 61% (2)
• Grab a Railcard – Get 1/3 off travel when you use a Railcard, the more you travel the more you save (3)
• Split your tickets – When booking through Trainline you can automatically split your journey into multiple cheaper tickets means you stay on the exact same train, it just costs you less.



(1) Emission calculations based on UK domestic emissions from 2019:
Cars and other road: total 78.2 MtCO2e = 56.8% of total UK domestic emissions for 2019
Planes: total 1.5 MtCO2e = 1.2% of total UK domestic emissions for 2019
Rail: total 1.8 MtCO2e = 1.5% of total UK domestic emissions for 2019 See Department for Transport's 'Transport and Environment Statistics 2021' Annual Report (page 6)

(2) Book in advance to save an average of 61%. Average savings on advance fares booked at least one week before day of travel vs Anytime fares purchased on day of travel. Subject to availability.

(3) 1/3 off travel with a digital Railcard applies to selected train fares. See Trainline's Railcard terms for full details of each railcard, eligible tickets and travel times.

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