Sometimes You Just Have To Try A Bit Harder To Save Money

There has been a lot of coverage of Andy Burnham’s analysis showing flights to exotic locations were less than the cost of a train from Manchester to London. But was it too simplistic?

Take Edinburgh, which is 534km (322 miles) from London. There are two major ways of travelling between these cities, the train, or the plane – unless you fancy a very long car journey!

The following prices are based on a single ticket booked for the 9th of May, around a week from now, arriving in Edinburgh around 10:00. It now gets a bit complex.

If all you need is a small bag you can place under the seat, an Easy Jet flight will cost you £30, but with a small cabin bag it rises to £70. The flight only takes 1 hour and 35 minutes, ignoring the facts you need to get to / from the airports and check in 90 minutes beforehand.

As Burnham said, a standard train ticket would cost many times that cost. However, dig a little deeper and you can find Lumo, the new low-cost operator between London and Edinburgh, costing £39 on the 05:45 departure taking around 4hours and 15 minutes. Starting in central London, you’ll be there at about the same time.

As you can see, sometimes the train is the cheaper, quicker and greener way to get between two cities. With six times less emissions due the trains being all electric, to offset the flight you would need to plant 4 trees – hang on, I need to update the costs again.