Brighton & Hove Albion: How could away day travel be better for fans?

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Liftshare has recently spoken with football fan clubs across the UK to try and get a clear view on the true cost of following their favourite team at both home and away games.

We’re doing this because we signed a partnership with The Football League for season 15/16 that involves us talking with fans, supporter trusts, away branches and more about how they can safe big money on match day travel by car sharing.

In reality, football fans collectively travel thousands of miles each season to show support for their club at away games. This adds up to a massive cost if you add in food and drink, tickets, accommodation and other expenses.

If you’re a car owner, you can use our Offer a Lift tool to give lifts to football fans on match day using Liftshare, and make back up to 100% of your total petrol bill. Fans without a car of their own can request lifts from drivers going to the game.

So in essence, car sharing is the same as giving your mate a fiver for petrol money, but it’s safe, secure and has the backing of the UK’s largest car insurers. Football fans are already saving money by sharing lifts – isn’t it time you got involved too?

How do Brighton & Hove Albion fans travel?

As part of our discussion with the UK Football League community at large, we spoke with Scott at Brighton & Hove Albion fan site We Are Brighton – a superb place for all your club news, podcasts, opinion blogs, videos and more.

We spoke with Scott to get more insight into what it’s like to be a Brighton & Hove Albion fan on the move. After all, fans of the club will travel 8,787 miles to away games this season – so can benefit from saving money on the road.

Here’s what we discussed:

Liftshare: What is your opinion of away day travel for Brighton fans who can’t get access to coaches?

Scott: Being the only club on the south coast in the Championship now, Brighton fans who go to away games do rack up the mileage. Despite that, coach is probably one of the least popular ways for our fans to travel with most going by train.

Getting to London from Brighton is relatively easy and once you are there you obviously have the country at your mercy. Book far enough in advance and it is cheap as well – we recently did Wolverhampton away for £14 return.

Liftshare: What about those who can get coaches? Are they useful, could they be better?

Scott: Until our move to The Amex, the club didn’t actually supply any official coaches. The Official Supporters Club originally began running their own coaches during our troubles of the mid 90s and had done so ever since and they were a real lifeline for the regulars who used them as well as those of us who fancied Plymouth, Swansea or whatever other farflung destination the Football League could give us on a Tuesday night.

With our average attendance going from 7,000 to 20,000 over night, the demand for the club to run their own travel increased and now they do so. Price wise, it doesn’t compare with the train or a car full of people but it is probably the most hassle free way of getting to an away game, as long as you don’t mind not being able to have a beer.

Liftshare: What is Brighton like around home matches? Does it get very busy? Is parking around the ground a nightmare? How could it be improved?

Scott: With the stadium built on the outskirts of the city, there is very little parking to be found. You can book to use a couple of car parks a short walk from the stadium or the universities that surround it but that is about it. Even the nearest residential area in Coldean, about a 10 minute walk away is all permit.

If you travel by car, the best way to do it is to use one of the three park and ride sites at either Mithras House, Mill Road or Brighton Racecourse and take the free bus to the ground. There really is little the club can do about getting there by car and to be honest they don’t really need to – Falmer Station is adjacent to the ground, the trains are frequent and a match day ticket allows you to travel across most of Sussex for free to get there.

Liftshare: What is your view of car sharing as a way of getting fans meeting each other, coming out in force to away days and saving money?

Scott: I’ve done a bit of car sharing for away games on Tuesday nights and it is a good option to have. North Stand Chat – one of the clubs messageboards – has a forum dedicated to away day travel where you will get people offering spaces and trying to seek a way to matches so it is already used a fair bit by our supporters but anything that can more supporters to away games is to be welcomed

Many thanks to Scott and We Are Brighton for taking time to chat with us, and if you would like to car share to a Brighton match home or away, why not check out over 500 lifts being offered via Brighton by Liftshare members right now?

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