Man flies from Leeds to Bristol via day out in Ireland and it was £30 CHEAPER than the train

Man flies from Leeds to Bristol via day out in Ireland and it was £30 CHEAPER than the train

A student horrified by the price of a three-hour train journey flew via Dublin, spending a day sightseeing instead – and saving £30.

George Aylett bought two single flights and wandered around the Irish capital for the day to save cash on exorbitant train fares.

After seeing the £118 price tag for the train from Leeds to Bristol, the 26-year-old PhD student instead sought out cheap flights and decided to make a day of it.

George, from Leeds, explored Dublin Castle, went to Temple Bar and even enjoyed a pint at the Guinness Storehouse, with the cash spent on visitor attractions still making his journey cheaper than the train.

He was planning to visit family in the West Country earlier in the summer when he looked into train fares, with a single ticket costing an eye-watering £118.20.

Instead, he booked flights and vowed to document his trip in a bid to expose how “broken” the UK’s rail network is.

“I am somebody who enjoys travelling on the railways and I am very much aware of the high cost of train tickets,” he told The Mirror.

“A few years ago, in 2017, I tweeted that it was cheaper to fly via another country than it is to get the train so this idea has always been on the back of my mind and I wanted to see if this theory was still correct in 2022.”

Having never visited Dublin before, George used his time between flights to wander the city, also checking out the the National Museum of Ireland.

Getting into the spirit, he even tried a packet of Irish delicacy Tayto crisps.

“I wanted to visit for a long time and I thoroughly enjoyed my trip,” he added.

“I had a long walk around the city and visited the upper courtyard of Dublin Castle, the National Museum of Ireland, the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar.

“The highlight of the journey was visiting the Guinness Storehouse because of the history of the building and the views from the top – although I discovered I am not a big fan of the drink.”

Cost breakdown of George’s trip
Ryanair flight from Leeds Bradford airport to Dublin: £18.48

Coach from Dublin airport to Dublin city centre (and return): £8.55

Dublin Castle (upper courtyard): free

National Museum of Ireland: free

Guinness Storehouse: £16.24

Pint of Guinness at Temple Bar: £6.67

Ryanair flight from Dublin to Bristol: £23.95

Food: £15

Total: £88.88

Cost of train from Leeds to Bristol (single) via Trainline App: £118.20 (meaning a saving of £29.32)

While the entire day, including sightseeing, came in at just under £30 cheaper than a single train fare, George’s trip would have maximised his carbon emissions tenfold, with the flight resulting in 0.10 tonnes of CO2 per person compared with 0.01.

“I am certainly not going to be making a habit of this, nor would I encourage anybody else to make a habit of this, mainly due to the impact it would have on the climate,” he admitted.

“It was simply the case that I wanted to visit Dublin and I wanted to get back home to visit family so I ended up with a ‘two birds, one stone’ situation.

“Encouraging people on to public transport, including trains, would be a positive measure to deal with the climate emergency and that requires making train travel accessible and affordable for all.

“I wanted to show how broken the privatised railway model is. The privatisation experiment has been an absolute disaster.

“I believe public transport should be free, just like it is in Luxembourg, however the bare minimum the government should be doing is bringing public transport, including the railways, under public ownership and run the service as a not-for-profit because this would drastically reduce the cost of train travel.”

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