More than half of business travellers will be more likely to consider travel by rail compared to before the pandemic, new research shows.
One in five (20%) would do so to cut their carbon footprint, according to a study of 1,000 regular business travellers.
As many as 81% of travellers would support a ban on short business flights where a train journey is available, similar to a recently approved policy in France.
The research by Trainline indicates that when journey times are similar, 90% of UK employees that travel for work would prefer to take the train over flying or driving.
The biggest factors that put business travellers off flying are concerns over Covid health and safety (41%), wasted time in an airport (31%) and the environmental impact (27%).
The top reasons for selecting trains were cited as reaching destinations quicker (29%), being able to work productively while travelling (26%) and the convenience of taking a train into the city centre (25%).
The data shows 59% of employees who travel for work revealed they would avoid driving and even short-haul flights to Europe even when Covid-19 restrictions ease if the journey times were similar.
Champa Magesh, president of Trainline Partner Solutions, said: “When business travel returns, it will not look the same as before the pandemic.
“One clear long-term trend is employees planning to reduce the impact their travel has on carbon emissions and reduce road travel and short haul flights.
“Given rail generates less than 5% of the CO2 emissions of air travel and approximately 15% when compared to car travel per passenger, rail is the clear alternative.”
She added: “With this expected surge in demand from new passengers, rail operators, travel sellers and businesses need to be prepared.
“To capitalise on the opportunity ahead, it’s critical business travellers have access to rail options.
“International rail is complex with content often needing to be sourced from multiple suppliers, all with different tech standards and specifications. Our mission is to simplify rail travel to help more businesses put it at the heart of employees’ journeys so they can make greener travel choices.”
This article was originally published on Travel Weekly.