Trains are better for the environment, states ASLEF

28 July 2005

On Monday 21 June the Daily Telegraph ran a front-page story that claimed new research proved cars were more environmentally friendly than some design trains.

 

The article alleged that it was more efficient and environmentally friendly for passengers to travel by car. ASLEF has disputed the assumptions behind this item and the Acting General Secretary sent the following letter to the Daily Telegraph outlining the unions concerns.

 

Letter from the Acting General Secretary

 

Sir – Professor Kemp is right to be worried about the amount of investment going into new trains (Telegraph, 21 June) but wrong to draw the conclusion that car travel is a safer bet for the environment.

 

Greener rolling stock requires sustained investment and a better infrastructure than currently offered by the confusing system of train and freight operating companies along with Network Rail. Britain already has highly congested roads so it simply does not work to suggest that we need more cars.

 

Better trains are also needed to transfer more bulky freight from road to rail. Nearly 40 per cent of CO2 emissions from road transport come from buses and lorries. It is also estimated that traffic congestion costs business £20 billion per annum.

 

Rail privatisation has been a disaster not just for passengers but for business and the environment as well. That is why we are urging the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase investment in the railways as part of his forthcoming spending review.

 

Instead of undermining train travel we should be supporting new measures to improve rail options for both passengers and business.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Keith Norman

Acting General Secretary

ASLEF

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A full-copy of the Telegraph article can be found at www.telegraph.co.uk - ‘Cars are more fuel-efficient than trains’

21 June 2004

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