British Government unveils high-speed rail plan


Yesterday, The Guardian reported that the British Government is planning to build a north-south high speed train route.

The government has made the demise of domestic air travel an explicit policy target for the first time by aiming to replace short-haul flights with a new 250mph high-speed rail network.

The transport secretary, Lord Adonis, said switching 46 million domestic air passengers a year to a multibillion-pound north-south rail line was “manifestly in the public interest”. Marking a government shift against aviation, Adonis added that rail journeys should be preferred to plane trips. SOURCE: The Guardian – British Government unveils high-speed rail plan to ground short flights

Today, The Guardian reported that a budget airline predictably came out and called the idea ‘insane’ and rail as a high cost and inefficient.

The airline industry has dismissed a government pledge to replace domestic and short-haul aviation with high-speed rail with one leading carrier describing the move as an “insane” policy.

SOURCE: The Guardian – Airlines dismiss high-speed rail plan to replace short flights

On the same day as the airlines are calling this idea ‘insane’ the Environmental Audit Committee  published a report warning that the Government is not on track to meet targets for cutting its own emissions and could have to pay money to large private sector firms – who may have done more to reduce their emissions – in a new carbon trading scheme due to begin in April 2010.
SOURCE: Parliament.co.uk

Tomorrow(Aug 6), The Guardian will publish the 3rd Part of the series on Transport Policy

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons attrib – Dave Bushell http://www.canbush.com/ppbfrontpage.htm

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