Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
Taking a train between Edinburgh and London is cheaper than the majority of flights, according to a report from sustainable transport group Transform Scotland.
The group’s report, entitled On track for business: Why Scottish businesses should try the train, has claimed that there are cheaper train tickets available for 81 per cent of flights between Edinburgh and London. Currently rail only has a 12 per cent share of the business travel market on the route.
Transform Scotland also claims that rail offers a better option for business travellers between the two capital cities because it offers better value for money, a “high-quality” working environment, more relaxing travel experience and also benefit the environment.
Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland, said: “The financial benefit of making an Edinburgh-London return journey amounts to £217, including the value of productive working time and other benefits.
“Given that the price of a 'Scottish Executive' ticket, which gives first class return travel from Edinburgh and London, is only £229, it's clear that greater account needs to be taken of the financial benefits of rail travel and not just the ticket price.”
Howden said that some major Scottish-based firms such as the Royal Bank of Scotland and energy firm SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) had already switched from flights to trains.
“Our report makes a compelling case to Scottish business of the financial and productivity benefits of using the train for business travel to and from London.
"Our challenge to Scottish business is to try the train. Given that it's generally cheaper and provides a productive working environment, Scottish businesses can gain financially by switching many more of their employees' trips on to rail for Edinburgh to London journeys."
The report said that enhancements being made by East Coast Trains, such as improved wifi connections, would make the train a more attractive option for business travellers. Other initiatives planned by the operator include a “more straightforward” fare structure plus an extension of its loyalty programme.
The report’s author David Spaven added: "The train beats flying for business travel to London. It offers a high-quality working environment, superior environmental performance and, crucially, better value for money. Unless a company's sole criterion for choice of transport is journey time, air shouldn't be treated as an automatic preference over rail. "East Coast has introduced a wide range of major service improvements in the last few years, yet rail is carrying only 12 per cent of Edinburgh-London business travel. The time is clearly right for many more businesses to 'try the train' and experience directly the benefits which rail can deliver.”