CO2 emissions would be reduced by a “huge amount” if everyone in the UK switched from car to train for leisure travel, according to a new analysis.
Rail operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) said carbon emissions from leisure travel would be reduced by 17% if everyone gave up their car for a train once a year.
LNER worked with researchers at University College London (UCL) Energy Institute to calculate the figure.
It also commissioned a survey of 2,211 adults in the UK showing 6.1 million people intend to use the car for a day trip or holiday this autumn.
About 36% of people are unaware of the impact that small changes can have on the environment, the survey found.
LNER has created a carbon calculator that shows that train journeys produce less than a third of the CO2 emissions compared to car journeys.
The operator’s managing director, David Horne, said: “We know that it is hugely important to be greener, but many of us are unsure of the role we play and how our individual actions can make a difference.
“With cars emitting three times more CO2 emissions than trains and so many people planning to use the car for leisure travel this fall, we ask people to consider traveling by train just once to show their contribution to the world to reduce emissions.
“Together we could save enough carbon to fill Wembley Stadium 25 times, which is a huge amount of carbon that we could save from being emitted into the atmosphere.”
Wembley has a capacity of 90,000.
UCL’s Professor Paul Ekins added: “Often we talk about climate change on a large scale, such as Things like melting icebergs and rising sea levels can make the problem feel overwhelming and unmanageable and discourage people from making changes in their lives that can help.
“What our research has found is that small changes, made by enough people, really do make a difference.”