Public transport cuts will mean more cars on the roads

31 January

Responding to the cuts to rail funding reported over the weekend, Norman Baker from Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“The government claims it wants public transport to be ‘the natural first choice for all who can take it’, but funding cuts to the rail and bus network will make public transport more expensive, less convenient, less reliable and ultimately less attractive to millions of people who have a choice to drive. Yet we know public transport is key to reducing climate change, air pollution and congestion, as well tackling social exclusion and economic disparity. The government must recognise that public transport is as important to the country as the road network and not allow the pandemic to derail efforts to create a better, greener transport system.”



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Notes to Editors

  • In his foreword to the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated “we must make public transport, cycling and walking the natural first choice for all who can take it.”
  • Only four per cent of carbon emissions come from public transport (buses, coaches and rail):
  • Transport is now the biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, accounting for 28% of all domestic GHG, but different vehicles make different contributions to this. Collectively, cars are the main contributor of GHG (55 per cent), followed by lorries and vans (32 per cent), while buses, coaches and rail collectively account for less than five per cent. (Department for Transport (2019), Table ENV0201 (TSGB0306): Greenhouse gas emissions by transport mode: United Kingdom, 1990-2017.
  • Driving in a medium petrol car with one occupant produces more than 4 times as much greenhouse gas emissions per passenger kilometre as travelling by rail. (Most cars have only one occupant) (Source: Our World in Data using the BEIS/DEFRA Greenhouse gas reporting conversion factors 2019).
  • Campaign for Better Transport operates in England and Wales. Campaign for Better Transport’s vision is for all communities to have access to high quality, sustainable transport that meets their needs, improves quality of life and protects the environment. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).