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Abolish Friday peak rail fares and offer discounted season tickets to tackle transport emissions now, not by 2040 says transport charity

12 November 2021

Campaign for Better Transport is urging the Government to tackle transport emissions now by reducing rail fares to encourage more people to choose the train, rather than relying on 2040 road-based targets. 

On the day the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow comes to a close (12 November), Campaign for Better Transport is warning that plans to reduce transport emissions by 2040 using cleaner fuels ignores the fact that we need to reduce emissions now and can do so by promoting rail travel and making trains cheaper. 

With cars producing more than four times the greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent rail journey, Campaign for Transport argues that plans to encourage more people to travel by rail should be a key component in the Government’s plans to decarbonise transport and tackle climate change. The transport charity is calling for the Government to encourage more people to take the train by: 

  • ABOLISHING peak commuter fares on Fridays for a limited time 
  • DISCOUNTING season tickets by a third for a limited time 
  • FREEZING rail fares for 2022. 

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Why wait until 2040 to reduce emissions from transport, when there are actions we can implement now? Driving less and taking the train more will have an immediate beneficial impact on carbon emissions, as well as reducing congestion and air pollution. The Government must do more to provide the right financial incentives. By reducing rail fares the Government can immediately remove one of the key barriers to rail travel, the cost.”  


For further information please contact the press office on 07984 773 468 (calls only no texts) or communications@bettertransport.org.uk 

Notes to Editors 

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).  

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: 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)  

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