Call to curb UK domestic flights to tackle climate change

Some domestic flights should be banned and the government must do more to promote rail as a greener alternative to help tackle climate change.

The call came from transport charity Campaign for Better Transport which wants to see the number of internal UK flights curbed with a ban on certain routes where the equivalent train journey is under five hours.

The proposal would mean an end to flights from London to Manchester and Edinburgh, and Birmingham to Glasgow, with people offered cheaper train tickets instead.

These train tips should be made cheaper to compete with budget carriers, along with mandatory emissions labelling on airline tickets.

Air Passenger Duty should also be maintained and a frequent flyer levy introduced in this month’s budget for anyone taking more than three international flights a year.

All plans for airport expansion should also be stopped until ‘net zero flights’ are a reality.

Campaign for Better Transport chief executive Paul Tuohy said: “Cheap domestic flights might seem a good deal when you buy them, but they are a climate disaster, generating seven times more harmful greenhouse emissions than the equivalent train journey.

“Making the train cheaper will boost passenger numbers and help reduce emissions from aviation, but any cut to Air Passenger Duty – coupled with a rise in rail fares in January – will send the wrong message about how the government wants people to travel and mean more people choosing to fly.

“The government has led the way with bold climate ambitions, now it needs to take similarly bold actions to make those ambitions a reality.”

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.