Football League clubs will travel 450,000 miles on the road this season, with Carlisle United topping the travel charts with an average away round trip of over 500 miles per match.Following promotions and relegations, the overall travel distance of clubs has fallen 26,000 miles compared to 2014/15, with 46 of the 67 clubs in The Football League last season facing shorter trips this campaign than last season.
The research comes after The Football League last week announced a partnership with Liftshare.com as part of a new ‘Get to the Game’ travel tool. The new service, accessible at http://football-league.liftshare.com, allows supporters to post details of their match day travel and offer their spare car seats to other fans for a split of the total petrol spend to keep costs down.
Brighton & Hove Albion will travel further than any other Sky Bet Championship club in 2015/16, with a total of 8,786 miles, followed by Cardiff City and then Middlesbrough. Derby County have the shortest travelling distance of the Championship clubs.
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League 1 this season is predominantly comprised of northern-based clubs, meaning Gillingham face the longest journey to away games with an overall total of 8,747 miles. Fellow south-east clubs Southend United & Colchester United rank in second and third place in the travel league respectively. The new divisional line-ups mean that all 14 of the clubs with the shortest travel distance this season are in League 1. Sheffield United have fewer miles to travel than any other Football League club, though their total of 3,966 is just one mile less than League 1 rivals Chesterfield.
League 2 has a strong presence of southern-based clubs this year, as 17 of the 24 clubs could be considered as being in the south – however, the inclusion of two of the League’s most northerly clubs in Carlisle United and Hartlepool United, alongside its most southerly club in Plymouth Argyle, mean more miles will be travelled in League 2 this year than any other division.
Not unexpectedly, Argyle and Hartlepool follow Carlisle United in the most miles travelled table. Carlisle’s average trip distance for their 23 away games is further than 92% of the 1,676 Sky Bet Football League fixtures this season. Northampton Town (5,374 miles), Barnet and Luton Town have the shortest trips in League 2.
The biggest winners in terms of fewer miles to travel are Bury, whose total travel distance has fallen 37% compared to 2014/15. Wigan Athletic, Burton Albion, Blackpool and Shrewsbury Town have also all had drops of over 20% in the number of miles they will have to travel this season.
By far the biggest increase for a club is Notts County, whose total travel distance for their 2015/16 fixtures is 40% more than last year.
The shortest individual trip in 2015/16 will be for the Championship fixtures between Fulham and Queens Park Rangers, with a distance of just over three miles between the two grounds.
The nearest neighbours in Sky Bet League 1 are Oldham Athletic and Rochdale at just over six miles apart, with the 12 mile trip between Dagenham & Redbridge and Leyton Orient making it the shortest trip in Sky Bet League 2.
The longest round trip in The Football League will be the respective fixtures between Carlisle United and Plymouth Argyle with a round trip of just under 800 miles – in fact Carlisle United feature in four of the top five longest trips.
The longest trip in the Sky Bet Championship is the 630 miles between Brighton & Hove Albion and Middlesbrough, with the fixtures between Fleetwood Town and Gillingham being the furthest in Sky Bet League 1 at 578 miles.
It is estimated the total time it would take make all the trips faced by the 72 Football League clubs this season by road would be in excess of 8,000 hours – the equivalent of 347 days of continuous driving.
To use the new Get to the Game travel planning tool visit: http://football-league.liftshare.com.
Sky Bet Championship
Total miles: 153,237 miles
Average club total: 6,385 miles
Average away trip: 278 miles
Sky Bet League 1
Total miles: 127,864 miles
Average club total: 5,328 miles
Average away trip: 232 miles
Sky Bet League 2
Total miles: 177,301 miles
Average club total: 7,388 miles
Average away trip: 321 miles
Sky Bet Football League
Total miles: 458,402 miles
Average club total: 6,367 miles
Average away trip: 277 miles
Travel distances have been calculated using main travel routes. In some instances more direct routes could be taken, while direct ‘as the crow flies’ routes will be considerably shorter. All distances in the table are for the round trip.
See the table below to find out where your team ranks for distance travelled this season