Friday, January 12, 2007

Tim Yeo Wants to Abolish Domestic Flights

Tim Yeo used to the Conservative Environment Spokesman. He's given an interview to GMTV in which he seriously proposes that all domestic flights should be abolished. It will be broadcast on GMTV's Sunday programme which runs from 6.00 to 7.30am, repeated from 7.30 till 9 on ITV2.

GLORIA DEL PIERO: I wanted to talk to you about that other concern of yours, the Environment, in a week where the Prime Minister said that we don’t need to sacrifice our long haul flights, science will save the planet for us. Is he right about that?

TIM YEO: Not entirely no. Because although we have technology that makes it possible to drive a car with very low carbon emissions, aircraft produce carbon emissions in substantial bodies. What we should be doing is tackling the domestic flights first. There is no reason at all why people should fly around the UK, fly from London to Edinburgh, London to Scotland, London to Glasgow, London to Manchester, London to Newcastle. Those flights should be knocked out. What we should do is tax domestic flights so heavily and use the money to improve the railways so that in five years time everyone is choosing to go by train within the UK. That would make a big step in right direction, the long haul flights are harder to tackle, but the domestic flights we can be taking action on right now and we should be.

GLORIA DEL PIERO: So you’re actually saying that you think that we shouldn’t have the right to fly internally in the UK?

TIM YEO: Well I think we should make the price so unattractive, obviously…

GLORIA DEL PIERO: So only rich could fly around the UK?

TIM YEO: Well, I mean the fact is that most people now go by train from London to Paris, and from London to Brussels. That service is replacing the aircraft to a considerable extent. The same could happen, if we made the trains better from London to Glasgow, London to Edinburgh, they’re a little better than they were on the Manchester line, if we made them better and also made them cheaper than flying then we are not forcing people to do something, but the logical alternative is to say if I can get to the centre of Edinburgh on the same time on the train, and probably in more comfort and for a lower price… Well, it’s a no-brainer. And the government has really been pretty timid about aircraft taxation. There is an opportunity here to show that Britain is really serious about climate change, about carbon emissions, about reducing the amount of flying, and if we did that I think the world would sit up and pay attention and we’d be setting an example that other countries could follow.

GLORIA DEL PIERO: But you’re pretty much effectively saying to me that you don’t there should be domestic flights in the UK, they should be banned, they should be…

TIM YEO: I’m not saying they should be banned, but I certainly don’t think we shouldn’t be using them in anything like the volume that we are now. Because I’ve become concerned myself about this, I’m choosing to go to Scotland by train as a matter of conscience now. I think more and more people would like to do that, we need to make it easier for them, and those people who don’t think of it in that sort of way we need to give them a price signal. But I honestly do believe that within ten years there should be virtually no domestic flights.

Well there you have it. This is almost as in touch with reality as THIS piece of muddled thinking from Sir Ming Campbell in which he says that the poor do not benefit from cheap flights, only the rich do. It really is just as well that Tim Yeo doesn't want to attack long haul flights. After all, he would have missed out on all these junkets which he enjoyed during 2006, not to mention the helicopter flight Mr Yeo took to visit Norfolk and other areas of the country during the General Election campaign.

6-8 November 2005, to Cyprus, as a guest of Lanitis Development, owners of Aphrodite Hills, a hotel and golf resort. (Registered 21 November 2005)
3-10 January 2006, to California,
US. My fares and three nights' accommodation provided by the World Affairs Council of Orange County. (Registered 14 February 2006)
3-6 April 2006, to Singapore. My outward flight from London to Singapore and my onward flight from Singapore to
Hong Kong, and my accommodation in Singapore were paid for by Sentosa Leisure Group. (Registered 2 May 2006)
4-10 November 2006, to California, US, to attend the annual Fall Conference of the Environmental Markets Association. My fare and accommodation was paid for by the Environmental Markets Association, a Washington based trade body. (Registered 15 November 2006)
16-19 November 2006, to Cuba, to visit Government officials. My fare and accommodation was paid for by
Sherritt International, a Canadian mining and energy company. (Registered 21 November 2006)

As one of the commenters has just pointed out, Mr Yeo would also have had to forgo a trip he did as golf columnist for the Financial Times - in one day, he golfed at three of Britain's best courses in a single day courtesy of a flight on private jet company Netjets.

This sort of muddle headed thinking has echoes of John Major's back to basics campaign, where politicians were held to account for their apparent 'don't do as I do, do as I say' attitude. If you can't defend your own actions, you shouldn't preach to others.

UPDATE: Zak Goldsmith has endorsed Tim Yeo's comments on Sky News just now.

UPDATE: A correspondent writes: Your list of Tim Yeo's junkets from the Register merely scratches the surface. If you look at his FT column you will see that over the past year he has reported from Cuba, China (twice), California (twice), Philadelphia, Singapore, Dar Es Salaam and Georgia (plus Loch Lomond while he admitted he should have been at the Party Conference). Who pays for these flights? How do their emissions compare with his train journeys to St Andrews? Can he really square all this with chairmanship of a Select Committee that consistently rails against aviation (while consistently ignoring calls to prove that higher taxes would improve aviation's environmental performance)?

59 comments:

BJ said...

Iain, is "muddle-headed" the new "nobody believes a word the prime minister says?"

Benedict White said...

Iain, If that pratt Tim Yeo is so interested in the environment why did he not read environment poicy document that was Conservative party policy before the last general election. The man is useless.

Mind you I think we need to ask why does it cost more to take a train than a taxi some places?

Snafu said...

All power to the railway unions!

When a flight from Manchester to Southampton takes an hour whilst the equivalent railway journey takes six hours on a Sunday, it's a no brainer!

The railways are massively subsidised yet they continue to offer poor value compared to driving or flying!

parburypolitica said...

I think very strong restrictions on domestic flights and v. importantly great alternative rail services are the way forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting a campaign to close all the coast guard stations in the country, the reason! Those dirty smelly helicopters always taking off to rescue stupid people who are in danger of drowning through their own fault. Can you imagine the damage those disgusting machines do to the environment. Another thing those rotor blades could chop up those nice sea gulls. I shall be contacting Mr Yeo right away, he's just the sort of looney sorry, fine up standing person, thats needed for my campaign. Would you make sure nurse this gets the evening post.

Anonymous said...

I do wish that politicians could remember that the world doesn't revolve around London - not all UK flights start or end there.

Aviation fuel isn't taxed in the same way (or at all) as other types of fuel, and we should start by aligning fuel taxation. This would require international agreement, but that's what we elect politicians for.

When check-in and waiting around are factored in, some domestic flights aren't much different to getting on a train, but one of the problems is train puncuality - i.e. the service is unreliable.

Both speed and punctuality could be improved by implementing a national network of MagLev trains. This is no longer science fiction, and we should be seriously looking at this.

Anonymous said...

He would also have had to forgo a trip he did as golf columnist for the Financial Times - in one day, he golfed at three of Britain's best courses in a single day courtesy of a flight on private jet company Netjets.

mark williams said...

Tim Yeo is not saying that domestic flights should be abolished, merely that they should be taxed so heavily that rail becomes more attractive. This is not something that should be done for its own sake, but making air travel reflect the true environmental cost would be a good idea.

However I think Mr Yeo has seiously underestimated the cost of improving train travel. It may be easy to make London-Manchester more attractive by rail than by air, but the same does not necessarily hold for e.g. Bournemouth-Glasgow or Leeds-Penzance. The advantage of air travel is that it is easy to route a hundred people across country at speed from A to B without stopping. It is ludicrous to suggest that we could have a high speed rail network between as many places as the domestic airline network, operating at similar speeds and in such a flexible manner.

Anonymous said...

Muddled alright. Same goes for road "pricing".

Out of touch too. People fly because its cheaper on the whole. And unless flying from Bristol far less hassle than the trains. This is the very sort of policy that Tim Congdon was banging on about yesterday isn't it?

If you want environmentally friendly flights give tax breaks to plane makers to design and build cleaner ones. Don't penalise the ordinary person who is often stuck with no alternative.

I am sorry to say but Mr Yeo comes over as a bit of a pompous wally.

Anonymous said...

Iain, are you saying you think it's a GOOD thing that trains are so much more expensive than flights ? Seems stupid to me - anything which makes trains more expensive is dreadful.

Not sure that Yeo could catch a train to his American golf courses in any instance..

Etzel Pangloss said...

Duplicity breeds contempt.

Anonymous said...

It's the flights to destination Guantanamo Bay which should be abolished!

Neil Craig said...

The reason trains cost more than taxis is, as Peter clearly understands, because there has been comparitively little technical innovation in trains for a century leaving them as heavy & inconvenient dinosaurs.

To my mind we should be looking at filling our railways with single carriage, or smaller, units running fully automated like Docklands rail. Maglevs may have a place for high volume long distance transport but is extremely expensive to set up.

I'm glad to see Goldsmith agrees with Yeo that proves he is talking rubbish.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

On a train Londob to Newark - cost 680 a month - standing room only. Sorry Zac/Tim flights cant just be for the likes of you who can afford them.

machiavelli said...

And to be fair, Back to Basics was the last time Yeo made the news in any meaningful way.

If he ever had to book rail tickets himself, he'd realise they are extortionately expensive now. So the choice for many who don't drive isn't rail/fly, it's fly/not go at all.

Vlad the Impala said...

Bring back steamships and canal boats! Encourage the poor to walk to their holiday destinations! Actually ban holidays! Ban business trips! Close the airspace! Fire Yeo from his FT job so he doesn't have to cover the golf courses of the world!

Good grief. How many double martinis were consumed before the interview? Its the only explanation.

If the Conservatives allow such a prat to articulate ideas in their name (without a vigorous public slapping down a la the Labour thingie and Ryanair) they will not make it past the post in the next election. If you want irrational thinking, the Lib Dems are much more organized about it.

bt said...

What a plonker.

Makes one proud to have left the Tory Party.

Anonymous said...

What a pratt. Do as I say, not as I do.

It's time to stand up to the climate change fascists!

Anonymous said...

Did Mr Yeo go to Eton as well?

Urbis said...

I seemed to have missed the bit where aspiring to improve the railways to cut carbon emissions is a bad idea... He didn't say "tax fliers into poverty" he said "lets improve the railways to make them a viable alternative"...

Anonymous said...

Why is the first answer always to raise taxes? Sounds like a very left wing "solution" to me.

A much more Conservative solution would be to work with the likes of Easyjet and Ryanair to set up low cost train travel instead - if it can work for flights, why not train travel?

Lord Monteagle said...

Ok so if you want to fly internationally from an airport the other side of the country, you should be expected to get several trains and quite probably a bus (as the railway doesnt serve every airport) to get you there, rather than just head to your local airport and fly directly to the international airport....

Anonymous said...

What this out of touch pompous idiot doesn't realise is that it is now damn nigh impossible to travel long distance by train in this country during business hours without planning the journey months ahead. I would happily travel by train within the UK if its prices were comparable with those charged by Eurostar.

I blame the idiots who deregulated long distance rail fares so that the rail companies could charge anything they wanted - bring back regulation of such fares rather than responding to the consequences by furthur taxation. Markets do not always work perfectly.

Anonymous said...

I've done a little piece about so-called climate change here

Anonymous said...

Lord Monteagle's point is the most apposite. For people like Yeo who live in Pimlico London's five airports will take you anywhere. But if you are starting an international journey from outside London you will often need to connect at a hub airport. If you have to take a train to London followed by a tube you are adding several hours to your journey, with all the added complications and risks. Yeo's thinking here is really lazy. In fact it's totally half-baked.

Andy D said...

I'd like to see him how he enjoys getting to my in-laws on the Mull of Kintyre from Bristol without flying....

Let me see a flight to Glasgow then to Campbeltown...probably takes about 3 hours.

Or....driving...over 10 hours.(It takes 3hours from glasgow even though its only 30miles as the crow flys...)

Or train...well seeing as the train doesn't go anywhere near it's impossible. I could get to Glasgow in about 6 hours (according to the trainline). But then what?

Idiots the bunch of em...

Curly said...

The man is a perfect pratt and ought to be sent to Coventry on a Chingford skinhead's bicycle, (carrying his golf bag)for his sins!

Crossfire said...

I agree with Tim if it really is far more fuel efficient for a train to go to Scotland than it is for a plane.

Anyone know the figures ?

Why does everyone here seem to want to deny that Global Warming is happening - it is obvious isn't it ?

forthurst said...

I suppose it is long enough since Yeo was embroiled in the Family Values controversy as a result of fathering a bastard via his mistress when a minister under Major's 'administration' to stick his head above the parapet again, however, I would have thought that at least he would would have knownn that conservatives spend far more on travel than labour folks, many of whom can hardly afford a bus ride.
Apart from anything else, politicians are far too stupid to solve global warming using their own tiny brains, so every time they open their mouths on the subject they just give us confirmation of this fact.

James Boulter said...

I'm afraid I can't agree with the majority of you on this...

YES, trains aren't up to scratch and they need improvement.
YES, domestic flights have some role in networking the UK.

BUT: it is actually, if you think about it, ridiculous that it is cheaper to the consumer to fly to 35,000 feet and down again rather than take a train (which can carry far more passengers).

I live near London but go to St Andrews university and consequently make the trip fairly often. The train is, usually, far less stressful than flying, and sometimes it is cheaper.

Finally: please don't take the anti-tax approach to environmental taxes. As any mainstream economist will tell you, they are an extremely effective way to change people's behaviour for all our ultimate benefit. I am not a tree-huger by ANY means. It annoys me intensely that certain left-wing papers seem to think the Prime Minister should give up long-haul holidays for the sake of the environment. This is absurd. But it's also absurd that flying is the cheapest way to get around the UK.

Anonymous said...

One of the funniest moments of 2005 was hearing that Yeo was considering entering the race to become Conservative leader, as he wanted to 'modernise' the Tories. What he didn't realise is that he is just the sort of preposterous character that most people associate with the worse aspects of the Tories.

V the K said...

Ever since cheap air fares have opened up flying to the proletariat, the elites have been scheming to some how get "those people" out of the skies, so that they can travel without having to bump elbows with commoners.

Anonymous said...

In the week whether the value of the Union is being questioned, this is very London centred
If you leave in Orkney or Shetland, a Hebridean Island or indeed Northern Ireland these flights are not a luxury but a vital lifeline

Minum said...

Tim is absolutely right in what he says - improve the other travel options, and ban the flights. Lets depersonalise this - OK, he isnt perfect, but thats nothing compared to the importance of the point he is making. What a lovely excuse not to listen to what someone is saying, because we find something to critisise in their personal life.

Jay O'Mandermann said...

Um, so is electricity (I assume that's what the trains run on) mainly nuclear-generated in the UK?

Colin said...

Oh dear, deep breath, hnere goes ....

You don't have to be a raving eco-mentalist to realise that, if you strip away the hypocrisy and the politician's intellectually feeble tendency to solve every problem by slapping a tax on it or banning it, there is a grain of good sense in what Tim Yeo has said. For simple, point-to-point journeys within the UK of,say, 350 miles or less, it is wasteful and damaging to fly - and it probably takes longer when you factor in the hassel of getting to the airport, struggling through check-in and the joining the interminable security queues, getting to the gate (which is often in the next county) and the whole landing and disembarkation process at the other end. (These 'fixed' parts of the process, which remain constant irrespective of the length of the actual flight, are becoming an increasingly deterrent part of flying.) Trains should - and must be made to be - faster, less expensive and more efficient than the plane for such trips.

If the sheer number of domestic flights was reduced by say half, this would free up a huge number of take-off and landing slots at hub airports, and would thus increase their capacity without the need for more runays (though the LHR third runway is a no-brainer and needs to be started NOW).

Surely the answer is to invest in the rail infrastructure, dismantle the ridiculous hybrid public-private track/train structure and make the trains more effective, less crowded and thus a real and viable alternative to the plane for short domestic jourbeys. There's a parallel in the necessity of making public transport a truly viable choice before imposing the ridiculous road-pricing scheme to get everyone out of their cars. That doesn't mean that reducing the number of short domestic flights, or the number of individual car journeys, are not sensible goals in themselves. But the govt must work to make the choices palatable and acceptable to the public.

A Conservative govt needs to make us all far more environmentally aware - without turning us into raving eco-mentalists - and more tuned into the everyday chouices we make and their consequences. And improved public transport infrastructure is the most sensible investment and method of enabling the public to take such choices seriously. banning things or taxing them has the opposite effect and is the first resort of the intellectually feeble politician. That's where yer man Yeo has got it totally wrong. I prescribe a long weekend in a darkened room with something soft for him to bang his head against!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone will point out to tim Yeo that 90 people in a plane from london to Glasgow produce rather less CO2 than do the same number of people in 6o private cars.

Now there's an idea for your intervention, Tim!

But who can blame the poor geezer for not thinking? As long as Cameron refuses to have any policies then his spokespersons have nothing better to turn their minds to than freeloading, playing golf and 'becoming more closely acquainted with' their researchers councillors, constituency chairs - and possibly even (in West ham at least) footballers' wives.

Dredd said...

"It's the flights to destination Guantanamo Bay which should be abolished!"

Only after one last flight to drop off any axe murdering bastards.

Pam said...

Are you sure this guy is a conservative? Either way, he sounds like a major hypocrite...like many of our politicians.

Joe Taylor said...

Iain, Ming has a point - the most conspicuous consumers of environmental resources in this country are the comparatively well-off. Yeo's recent usage of air travel more than bears that out...

That's not to say that the working poor never use cheap air travel - but at least if the price went up under the Lib Dems they would be more than compensated by our tax cut!

Anonymous said...

dredd: Is that you peter hitchens or verity? In any event, hardly Judge Dredd.

Eco-Critics said...

I have to agree with Iain on this despite my worries over climate change. The UK is responsible for such a small amount of carbon emissions that it just seems absurd to go to these lengths.

http://ecocritic.blogspot.com/

2br02b said...

Quite apart from anything else, it is a myth that trains are more eco-friendly than planes:

(1) A couple of years ago I travelled midweek on a Deutsche Bahn ICE train (the German equivalent of a French TGV) from Frankfurt-am-Main Hbh to Munich Hbh. The journey, which began mid-afternoon was comfortable and speedy, and we arrived in Munich about 6.30 pm, so it was a reasonably busy time in the middle of the week. I was one of a total of four passengers to get of this 12-coach train at Munich, which was its terminus. And in Germany, train fairs are about 30% of what they are here.

(2) When people say trains produce less CO2 per passenger/mile than planes, the following gets forgotten about:

(a) CO2 emissions from electricity power plants away from the actual electrically-powered trains;

(b) CO2 emissions from building the trains, track, stations, etc.

(c) Trains are in actual fact intrinsically less efficient than planes when it comes to moving X tonnes at Y kph. This is because even on a rail track (let alone when going through tunnels) trains have much more resistance to overcome than planes, who are resisted only by air. (I'm talking about subsonic flight here) If there is zero resistance, the power required to reach a given speed varies with the square of the speed, but when the different environments of trains and planes are taken into account, the difference is more like linear. Hence, a high speed train at (say) 300 kph uses about half the power per tonne of a plane flying at (say) 600 kph. However, that is per tonne, and the average train weighs about three times as much per passenger as the typical plane. Therefore the power requirement/passenger for a given journey is about 1.5 times greater when travelling by high speed train than by plane.

Therefore such trains produce more CO2/passenger/mile than planes.

Trains are a very efficient way of moving a lot of people a relatively short distance at a relatively slow speed on a regular basis, ie., commuting. But when it comes to intercity journeys, they are pretty useless, especially when the network is jammed to capacity and the cost of building serious extra capacity would cost an arm and a leg.

I'm afraid that in the real world, fast trains are more expensive and less efficient than planes

A rational policy would actually be something like the opposite of the Yeo/Zak 'plan': close down the intercity rail network and encourage people to fly.

uk-events said...

He's right.

We should also get as many cars and lorries off the road as we can.

In the scheme of things it won't prevent or even slow down climate change but its sensible & practical.

People in this country or generally greedy or lazy so it won't happen until it has to.

At this point it will be chaos.

Thanks to overpriced, underfunded poorly maintained public transport.

Your lot are entirely to blame for this btw Iain.

Anonymous said...

2b0r02b, I'm not sure where you get your numbers from.

Planes average approximately 6 to 8 times the CO2 of a train for domestic journeys. The shorter the journey the less efficient the plane is, because obviously most energy is consumed during climb rather than cruise.

The weight of a train only matters when accelerating - so your drag calculations are all wrong, I'm afraid. Weight does matter very much for the plane, because it has to haul up you to 40000ft. Also, the drag on a train caused by the track (rolling resistance) is actually pretty small compared to air drag because the wheels of a train don't deform and heat up much, unlike the tyres in a car.


For long journeys (eg transatlantic) a plane will use roughly the equivalent amount of fuel as putting each passenger in an average car for the same distance. For short journeys the plane is worse, although as soon as you put more than one person in each car, all bets are off.


Tim Yeo may be an arse, but still, the only fair way to solve this is to tax air fuel at the same equivalent rate as petrol.

PS If you are running the train on Nuclear generated electricity, there is even less CO2 emitted, of course...

buster said...

Crossfire said...
I agree with Tim if it really is far more fuel efficient for a train to go to Scotland than it is for a plane.

Anyone know the figures ?

Why does everyone here seem to want to deny that Global Warming is happening - it is obvious isn't it ?

6:12 PM

I believe in global warming Crossfire. All these long Summers, mild Winters and song thrushes trilling for mates in January.
What I don't believe is that CO2 emissions make a jot of difference. It is just part of the normal cycle of things. We have ice ages followed by warm periods followed by ice ages ad infinitum. Of course in the last one nobody tought of taxing us for it.

2br02b said...

anonymous 12:10

"Planes average approximately 6 to 8 times the CO2 of a train for domestic journeys"

Could that just be because the green lobbies don't count the CO2 produced making the power at power stations away from the train/track that powers an electric train (they do the same with light rail/tramcars)? As a result, their basis of calculation is fundamentally flawed.

More like a deliberate attempt to mislead, actually. Even they can't be that stupid, can they?

Come back when all the electricty in the country is nuclear... oh, they don't want that either...

----

More fuel is used when a plane climbs, yes; but less is used when it descends again. The two just about cancel. And trains ALSO have air drag, you know!

"The weight of a train only matters when accelerating..." ... but this is only the most important factor requiring power in a vacuum. Neither vehicle is in a vacuum. This is no place to go into the details of rolling resitance and air drag, but it reads to me as if you've swallowed the green propaganda whole.

----

In any case, the whole point of my story of my train journey to Munich is that there is no way a 12-coach ICE with four passengers could be CO2 efficient or anything else efficient, actually. Here was a classic example where these four passengers on a plane would actually have produced less CO2, assuming the plane was something like a 737 or so.

Horses for courses: that's my point.

-----

In any case, aviation is only responsible for 1.5% of the UK's anthropogenic CO2, and on top of that this sort of policy would be political suicide for any party daft enough to subscribe to it.

Remember the petrol price strike?

2br02b said...

"I believe in global warming Crossfire. All these long Summers, mild Winters and song thrushes trilling for mates in January."

And 2006 was the warmest year in the UK since accurate records began.

However 1933 was the warmest year in the US since accurate records began.

All these "long Summers, mild Winters and song thrushes trilling for mates in January" have got diddly-squat to do with GLOBAL warming. What happened here last year was a LOCAL event. America had a below average temperature, and New Zealand suffered the coldest year for decades--and New Zealand is actually a bigger land mass than the UK, so that's more significant globally.

Globally the warmest year since (supposedly) accurate records began was 1998. Every year since has been cooler. A cooling trend might just be starting to emerge.

Nicholas Bennett said...

Complete twaddle. I'm afraid that Tim Yeo is the sort of old school Tory who manages to annoy people just by the way he looks and talks. People will feel that here is a rich, well fed man telling the rest of us what we can and can't do. I personally always use the train to Scotland as I like trains and I'm not in a hurry. However if you have a meeting at 9am in Glasgow and you live in London and you have business the night before in London how do you get there if you don't fly? He doesn't mention Northern Ireland or the further reaches of Scotland, these also are in the domestic network. What are travellers supposed to do. Spend the best part of a day on a train and ferry?

If we want to be treated seriously we need a sense of proportion about the amount of impact flights have on the climate. Making unrealistic and unpopular proposals like this don't enhance our image one jot.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

There's very little to say, apart from:

"Grade-A wanker".

Anonymous said...

Nice team selection by dave-another winner!

Anonymous said...

Blimey Iain your blog attracts alot of trainspotters! Lib Dems I suppose. The bottom line is this. Technological advances will remove much if not all the really bad pollutants in time. Cleaner cars and planes wlll be developed.For example fuel cells. Governments ought to provide incentives for this sort of work and the adoption of it in when ready. Not tax travellers who as many point out here have little choice. Or spalsh cash on some silly high rail speed.

Neil Craig said...

2br02b is right. Here is an article showing that, despite the political incorrectness, trains actually often use much more fuel per journey than cars too.

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=1873132006

Of course this assumes the train isn't using non-polluting CO2 free nuclear electricity but then nobody is as opposed to CO2 free non-polluting nuclear as the "environmentalist" lobby.

mark williams said...

2br02b: You are wrong about energy being used to lift a plane being effectively recovered when it descends again. Planes generally use more fuel when they are descending than when in level flught. They require less lift than when ascending but their drag is increased by the extension of the wingflaps so that the fuel consumption rises considerably.

Lagwolf said...

Tim "Yeo Yeo Yeo" Yeo always tries to be trendy and "with it". Trying to be greener than thou is just the latest bit of daftness from this joke of an MP.

Devil's Kitchen said...

I absolutely love Tim Yeo: why not find out the extent of my hot-lovin' at The Kitchen?

DK

Off Message said...

One point about Yeo - he is not a "spokesman" for the Tories except as a backbench MP. So Dave hasn't chosen him for anything.

He is chairman of the Environment Audit Committee which is the select committee which deals with climate change issues most.

james newman said...

i thought i'd give a few actual facts here about the railways.

firstly the talk of efficiency of the railways and emissions actually includes the amount that electric trains spew out via powerstations. with the emissions from the national grid falling every year as more wind and so on comes online trains are becoming more efficient faster than aircraft ever could.

non electric trains tend to run on diesel these days. the train companies pay tax on this fuel, airlines do not pay tax on the fuel they use.

secondly its a plain lie to say all trains are subsidised. the gner line on the ecml has a franchise (abandoned now thanks to other reasons) that was secured on an average ticket price of £51.50 whereby £26 would go into the pocket of the government and gner as profits. over 50% of the cost!

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