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Will conference MPs show their green side on the way?

18 September 2010
Campaign for Better Transport, a transport campaign group, is writing to 622 MPs about the upcoming party conference season, suggesting they get there in a way that reflects their party's green policies. By travelling by train, they could reduce the carbon footprints of this year's events.   If MPs were to drive rather than travel by train this would increase their carbon footprint by over 400 per cent. In order to understand their constituents' concerns about fare rises, delayed trains and overcrowding, we believe that all politicians should experience rail journeys over the conference season.  

If all 307 Conservative MPs travelled from the House of Commons to Birmingham (111 miles) by train it would save 10,700kg of carbon, if 258 Labour MPs chose this mode of transport to reach Manchester (180 miles) it would save 14,400kg and the Liberal Democrats could save 3,400kg on their trip to Liverpool (178 miles).

Richard Hebditch, Campaigns Director at Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"At the last election the Conservative Party promised to be the greenest party ever, the Liberal Democrats made a pledge to keep fares fair and Labour backed a low-carbon revolution. Promises are fine, but we feel the conference season is a good opportunity for politicians to show how they really feel about sustainable travel.

“It will also provide an insight for any MPs who are averse to using public transport into a service that many of their constituents need to get from A to B."

Notes to Editors

Carbon data is provided from http://www.transportdirect.info and based on a late morning door-to-door journey on the Sunday before conference from the House of Commons to the conference centre for each party conference. The information below shows the average CO2 emitted per person for a journey by public transport and rail; public transport and coach; and a large car with one occupant. Journeys in a small car with more occupants would reduce the amount for car journeys.

Labour conference:

House of Commons to Manchester Central conference centre

Large car:  72kg for a journey taking three hours and 56 minutes

Public transport with train: 16.2kg for a journey taking three hours and 9 minutes

Public transport, with coach: 10.0 kg for a journey taking six hours and 1minute

Conservative conference:

House of Commons to the ICC, Birmingham conference centre

Large car: 45.1 kg for a journey of two hours and 28 minutes

Public transport with train: 10.1kg for a journey taking two hours and 14 minutes

Public transport, with coach: 6.4kg for a journey taking three hours and 36 minutes

Liberal Democrat conference:

House of Commons to Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre

Large car: 77.3 kg for a journey of four hours and 25 minutes

Public transport with train:  17.4 kg for a journey taking three hours and 5 minutes

Public transport, with coach: 11.2kg for a journey taking seven hours and 26 minutes

Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).