Friends of the Earth call on the transport sector

Hotel News - 18/03/2010

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An environmental lobby group has hit out at the UK government, claiming that a proposed high-speed rail line will do little to tackle climate change. Executive director of Friends of the Earth, Andy Atkins, has said that a report on March 12 forecast that the planned scheme will have a minimal positive effect on global warming and may even increase the UK’s C02 emissions.

Mr Atkins went on to say that the travel sector must do much more if the government is to meet its legally binding emissions targets, and that major government policy changes must be implemented. Ministers revealed last month that there have been substantial falls in the amount of people flying and driving in the UK since 2007, but at the same time rail fares have risen in Britain by 13 per cent.

According to Mr Atkins, transport emissions have also risen and people will only be persuaded out of cars and planes when a genuinely clean and efficient travel alternative is provided. He also called for road and runway plans to be scrapped in order to ensure that rail travel is the most convenient long-distance option in Europe.

Investment in public transport would provide low-emission alternatives for shorter journeys which could be powered by a green energy source such as electricity, added Atkin.

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