Football away travel can be incredibly fun. You get together with other dedicated fans and embark on an epic road trip to show support for your favourite team, while making a day of it with food, drink and endless amounts of banter.
But it’s also expensive. The Football League understood that fans of all 72 clubs were travelling thousands of miles each season to attend away games across the UK, and wanted to help make those trips more affordable – especially for those who can’t or don’t take coaches.
So they teamed up with Liftshare and we’ve started speaking with fan sties, supporter trusts and clubs to find out what they think of their favourite team’s travel situation, and to discuss how it could improved.
Of course, if you’re a car owner wanting to get to games for less, simply sign up to Liftshare for free and enter our journey details in our Offer a Lift section to see how much money you can make back on match day travel. If you don’t have a car, just run a search for lifts on our homepage to see who is offering lifts near you.
Today we spoke with Pete at Stevenage FC fan site BoroGuide about what he thinks of match day travel, and to find out how effective things like parking and routes are when the club plays at home. Congestion and traffic jams on game days aren’t fun, after all.
We asked Pete to give us his expert opinion on Stevenage away travel at large, and he had a lot of great insights to offer. “Away travel can be affordable enough from Stevenage, but much does depend on where we’re going and if it’s a weekend or midweek fixture,” he tells us.
“For example, we’re on the East Coast line and near to London,” Pete adds, “which makes the train a decent option if it is a particularly long trip – but not when you’re coming out the ground at 10pm. One option offering good value for money are the Supporters’ Association buses – but these won’t always run if the demand isn’t there, which can sometimes be an issue. Plus, like the car, you’re at risk of motorway delays and the like. But that’s a problem that supporters of all clubs will face, when you think about it.”
Pete gives further insight into the cost of travel to Stevenage football matches, “If you can take advantage of advance rail tickets or Groupsave when travelling in and around, it’s possible to save quite a bit of cash. But the cost of going to away games can feel really expensive sometimes, especially if you’re considering food and drink too – it’s not hard to push the overall cost of an away day over £100.”
Liftshare is working hard to spread the word of its car sharing community, which is both friendly, secure and trusted by the UK’s largest car insurers. Some regular users are saving up to £2,000 a year on travel, which is understandable if you’re travelling to matches regularly.
We asked Pete for his view on how Stevenage gets around home games, specifically gridlock and parking issues. He tells us, “In terms of location, the Lamex is quite simple to get to from the A1(M) but there’ll usually be fair bit of traffic on the roads – shoppers at the weekend and people on the way home from work in the evenings.
“You can park in the car park opposite the ground on Broadhall Way for free – for now at least. Last time I looked, parking in the adjacent retail parks could put you on the wrong side of their restrictions, while residential streets can get very busy. More often than not, however, there’s no issue getting parked up.”
Lastly, we asked Pete for his opinion on car sharing in general, and he’s behind the idea. “The idea of car sharing seems like a fairly practical solution to keeping the cost of travel down for drivers and passengers,” Pete replies. “And it’s no bad thing to meet like-minded people either – it’s just needed somewhere to bring people together in one place.”
Thanks to Pete for his great input, and be sure to check out Liftshare.com for all your football road trip needs, and BoroGuide for all things Stevenage FC.