27 May 2009 09:05:05
High speed rail could remove need for domestic flights
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of UK adults believe that high-speed rail has the potential to remove the need for short-haul domestic flights.
That is according to a new survey by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), which found that 73 percent believe quicker trains could also benefit the environment by reducing road and motorway traffic.
Conducted by research company ComRes, the study of 1,000 people across the UK shed light on the fact that 73 percent expect high-speed rail will also cut down passenger congestion on standard train services.
"The results show evidence of public support for a high-speed rail network as an alternative to domestic air travel," said Tom Foulkes, director general of the ICE.
"Our airport runways are already congested and air travel is one of the biggest contributors of carbon emissions in the UK," he continued.
He cited the train line between Paris and Brussels as an example of what could be possible in the UK, explaining that it was once a major short-haul flight route but is now "serviced exclusively" by rail.
Earlier this year, the ICE published research indicating that the general public considers public transport to be one of the UK's biggest investment priorities.
The Transport Board has been weighing up the potential benefits of high-speed rail in the UK since 2006, when it published a series of papers on the issue. http://www.ice.org.uk/knowledge/specialist_transport.asp