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New transport comparison tool launched to help people make more informed travel choices

A new data-analysis tool which helps people to compare the impacts and benefits of different types of transport has been launched by the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP).


Think Travel Tool

The online Think Travel Tool, now available on the Hereward CRP website, allows users to select start and end points of journeys that are available from the Hereward railway line, which runs through Fenland between Peterborough and Ely.

Users can then select different modes of transport for the journey from cycling, travelling by train or bus and different types of car - diesel, petrol, electric and hybrid.

The tool then compares the different impacts and benefits of each mode of transport for the selected journey, including environmental impacts such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and air pollutants, distance travelled (as different modes of transport take different routes), time taken, cost, health benefits and wider impacts too.

For example, travelling from March to Peterborough by train emits an estimated 0.99kg of CO2 per passenger, compared with 3.94kg of CO2 per passenger by car (diesel).

Travelling by train also emits fewer pollutants than travelling by car and is quicker. Time spent on the train can also be used productively, such as reading or working, and can boast some health benefits if people travel to and from the train station by walking or cycling.

The tool also provides information on the impacts of different travel options, helping people to understand how travel methods can impact the environment with the hope of encouraging people to make more informed decisions around travel choices.

Cllr Chris Seaton is Chairman of the Hereward Community Rail Partnership (CRP) and Portfolio Holder for Transport at Fenland District Council, which manages the CRP in partnership with local councils, train operators, railway user groups, station adoption groups and local residents who look after the Hereward Line, and with support from the Community Rail Network.

He said: "The Think Travel Tool is exactly that - it encourages people to think about how they travel, and how they can make their day-to-day journeys more environmentally friendly, more cost and time effective and more beneficial to their health.

"It also uses data to compare the impact of different travel methods for journeys from the Hereward Line, although the principles of this can be used to compare similar journeys across the UK, helping people to make informed travel choices wherever they go."

The tool was commissioned by the Hereward CRP, with additional funding support from Greater Anglia and created by environmental data analysts Aether.

Greater Anglia's Customer and Community Engagement Manager, Alan Neville, said: "Research shows that trains are the most environmentally friendly form of transport after cycling and walking, with greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre by rail being about 75% less than cars.

"It's so easy to get all around East Anglia by train and have a day out that, literally, doesn't cost the earth, reduces your carbon footprint and will help to protect the region's fragile habitats and human health - and our new fleet of trains are contributing even more thanks to their more environmentally friendly features which reduce CO2 and particulate emissions in the region further still and offer a convenient, comfortable alternative to the car."

The Hereward CRP website, which launched in 2019 as part of the relaunch and rebranding of the Hereward CRP, is packed with information about the CRP, the Hereward Line and its railway stations at March, Manea and Whittlesea, and things to see and do in the area.

It also features handy travel advice and FAQs, videos and podcasts, and the CRP's annual highlights report showcasing the great work of the CRP and local station adopters. It is also regularly updated with the latest CRP news.

March 2023

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