Minister’s attack on rail exposes lack of green priorities


High-speed rail offers a viable alternative to air travel from central Scotland to London

Jo Swinson has criticised Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander MP for endorsing domestic air travel ahead of investment in high-speed rail.

Jo raised the need for high-speed rail links between Scotland and London in the House of Commons today. Speaking to Mr Alexander, she said:

“Given the threat of climate change, is it not time the government got serious about high-speed rail from Scotland to London, to get people out of planes and into trains?”

Commenting on the Minister’s response, in which he attacked the view that high-speed rail was a “pro-environment choice”, Jo said:

“The Secretary of State showed a worrying failure to grasp the need to get passengers to switch from air to rail travel. He effectively discounted high-speed rail as a serious alternative to domestic air travel.

“Cutting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate chaos means flying less, while extra capacity is also urgently needed on our railways, with passenger numbers expected to triple on the West Coast Mainline by 2030. Investment is needed now in a high-speed rail link from Scotland to London as a viable alternative to domestic air travel.”

“From a Minister whose Government has presided over an enormous rise in the number of scheduled short-haul flights, today’s response demonstrates just how far down his agenda green issues are.”


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