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Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Seb

Campaigners set sights on improving football travel

The Football Supporters Federation and the charity Campaign for Better Transport have joined forces to take on the vexed issue of travel to and from matches.

The two organisations have asked for help with research looking at good and bad practice across the leagues, and how clubs, local authorities and public transport authorities can improve the support they give fans outside the turnstiles on their way to and from the game.

The first stage of the project is to ask fans to complete a five-minute on-line survey capturing experiences of getting to and from matches – home and away. This asks fans about their experiences, how they would like to see things improved as well as specific measures such as how clubs can promote alternatives to driving. Find out more about the survey here

It is the first time that information on fans ‘ travel habits has been gathered in a coordinated way since the Premier League stopped asking questions concerning transport in its annual survey in 2007 / 08.

Sian Berry of the Campaign for Better Transport said “Many football fans feel they get a raw deal on transport. Some clubs do good things, but others do little but offer the unenviable choice of sitting in traffic jams and paying a fortune for parking or suffering inadequate and over-priced public transport. To improve things, clubs, transport companies and local authorities must be prepared to work with fans.”

Despite  ongoing negative publicity about the cost of attending games, nearly all the focus is on money spent in the ground, on tickets, or club merchandise. Even those steps which have been proposed such as the £20 away ticket idea would help only a narrow section of supporters.

Instead, Sian Berry argues that getting transport right would be a more beneficial priority “Football’s communal nature and the need to get large numbers of people to the same place at the same time should make transport planning easier not harder. This project is about ensuring that all fans have easy, affordable and low impact ways of getting to games. With fans’ support we can help make it happen.”

Findings from the research will be launched at the end of the season and are expected to attract significant media interest. The findings will include a league table showing which clubs take good transport seriously and attempt to help their fans. It will also offer a blueprint for clubs, local authorities and transport providers should help fans get to and from games.

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