Three in five business travellers will be more likely to consider rail compared to before the pandemic, according to new research from Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS).
A study of 1,000 regular business travellers found one in five said they will travel by rail to reduce their carbon footprint.
Other top reasons to take the train include reaching destinations more quickly (29%), being able to work productively while travelling (26%) and the convenience of taking a train into the city centre (25%).
When journey times are similar, 90% of UK 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%), the wasted time in an airport (31%) and the environmental impact (27%).
The study found 81% of travellers would support a ban on short business flights where a train journey is available, similar to the recently approved policy in France.
When told that a train journey generates approximately 5% of the CO2 emissions compared with car travel per passenger, 25% of respondents said the realisation puts them off driving for business travel.
According to the study, 92% of employees who travel for work could be encouraged to ditch their car entirely for future business travel.
The other factors that would encourage less driving for business travel include faster rail options (34%), rising petrol costs (24%) and more luxurious train services (23%).
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.”
TPS launched earlier this month and provides rail technology solutions for TMCS, businesses of all sizes and rail carriers.
The survey was carried out by Censuswide between April 29 and May 6 2021.