Blog Action Day 2009 – Can you afford to care about climate change?

Today is Blog Action Day, a day when bloggers around the world blog about one topic that’s been voted on by us with this years topic being Climate Change.

A few months ago I watched the amazing movie called Age of Stupid and since then I have been in two minds about travel. Part of me thinks I need to do it all now and see the places I want to as who knows what the future holds for travel and the other part knows that’s just stupid, like driving faster to conserve petrol – it’s all going to go in the end!

As part of this questioning I have been looking into alternative methods of transport to which leads me to this post/rant.

I have family all round the UK, I usually drive or fly depending on the distance and time available. On no less than three occasions lately I have needed to travel within the UK for birthdays. Distance-wise the obvious options were either rail or road (by car obviously, it was too far to bike!). Air travel was out straight away as it didn’t fall into my eco-friendly thinking so next up was rail.

I was booking three months in advance for two people and thought my options were limitless but boy, was I wrong. Not only were travel times horrendous between Glasgow and York or Glasgow and Leeds (because they are off the ‘main drag’) but the prices made them immediately inaccessible. For example:

By train:

  • Glasgow to York was in the region of £110
  • Glasgow to Leeds was coming in at just over £120
  • Glasgow to Aberdeen was £90

On the other hand, the same trips by car were:

  • Glasgow to York was £60
  • Glasgow to Leeds was also £60
  • Glasgow to Aberdeen was £45

Now I ask you, in this financial climate can anyone afford to pay these prices?

A few years back you could have booked this far ahead easily and have been in Aberdeen for £20 each. Last Nov with a shorter booking notice I was £35 per person to Leeds so what’s changed? Are the rail companies capitalising on the public’s growing fear of climate change and upping their prices or are they completely unaware that they are now a more expensive option than flying!?

Don’t believe me? The read on…

As a final test prior to putting this post live I compared just that: 3 months from now, one weekend away for two people travelling to Norwich (a regular trip I need to do).

Flybe total cost £199.92
Flybe total cost £199.92
Scotrail total cost : £484.00
Scotrail total cost : £484.00


If the government really are concerned about climate change then why on earth is it allowed that travelling by less eco-friendly methods are cheaper than rail?

I once Twittered about this and had a reply back saying:

Just book in advance and travel responsibly.

But as my images above show, it’s not as simplistic as that.

I can’t afford to pay double for the pleasure of rail travel (a supposedly cheaper alternative than flying) and I don’t know many who can.

With prices like these ask yourself this: can you afford to care about Climate Change?

Discuss. :-)