This is the age of the train - rail travel to replace budget flights

5 August 2009

Right then, so the Government is throwing its weight behind a proposal to phase out domestic air travel in the UK, and pour all resources into a high speed rail network. This 250mph, multi-billion pound network of steel will see 46 million air passengers drop out the sky and into the trains. The plan will then be rolled out to tackle short-haul flights to European destinations too. In total, the Government wants to "progressively replace" 1.9 million flights a year, and shunt the 169 million passengers flying onto a high-speed rail network.

Now, who would want to have a really good sweary rant about this on behalf of the budget airlines? Hang on, the phone is ringing:

"It is insane. The only link you have [between the UK and Europe] is one highly priced tunnel. People are not going to travel to the UK regions, including the Lake District and Cornwall, on a [Eurostar] train that only stops at Kent and London St Pancras.

"[Rail is] a valid alternative if you don't mind the inefficiency and high cost of rail services.

"On [return] domestic flights from Glasgow to London, passengers are paying £20 in taxes while they continue to subsidise the shit out of the railways. Substituting one form of transport that is heavily taxed for a form of transport that is heavily subsidised is not the answer."

Sky Marshall O'Leary of Ryanair, everyone. Obviously the chief executive of Europe's largest short-haul airline wouldn't be in favour of seeing his planes blown out the sky by jet fighters and surface-to-air missiles. Because that's what they'd do.


TOPICS:   Travel


  • Kevin B.
    Don't think Bolton Wanderers players will agree >>
  • andy y.
    So 11 years on they reckon a high speed rail network ala TGV is a a good idea.So wtf have you waited more than a decade to do this and why wait until teh economy is so fucked that we can't afford to build it anyhow. Useless sack of shit government
  • Rob
    So how am I going to get to Belfast and Dublin from Bournemouth now?
  • Inactive
    Will National Express get the contract?
  • Nobby
    So long as they allow budget train companies to use the same trains and tracks then it's OK. But they won't, so people will not stop flying. They'll want £100s for travel from, say, London to Edinburgh.

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