LondonUnlocked

Increasing Rail Travel

Articles, LondonUnlockedEditor

200808011118.jpgThe Evening Standard reports on the shift from cars to public transport due to rising fuel prices:

Soaring fuel prices are causing almost two-thirds of Londoners to consider using public transport rather than going by car, a poll reveals today.

The rising cost of petrol has led to the majority of people planning to go by Tube, bus or train in an effort to cut travelling expenses.

It's worth nothing that after the bombings of 7/7, when Thames Clippers opened their services for all to use for free for the day, usage went up by as much as 80%.

With the fuel crisis, TfL can encourage a similar modal shift, delivering services which will retain commuters long after prices stabilise. That is a major challenge, but one with a substantial prize.

Richard Bowker, Chief Executive of National Express, has today called on the rail industry to target domestic airlines, arguing that the service on trains is both better and cheaper:

"I really do struggle to see why we make it so easy for people to fly domestically. When you have got such a low-carbon alternative in rail, it's something that should be positively promoted."

With fuel prices rising and concerns about carbon output high on the agenda, this is the argument which TfL and the Government need to be making. Changing people's behaviour is never easy, but this may be the most opportune time to do so.

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You'll already have spotted the first instalment of the Transport Manifesto (below) which will run throughout the first two weeks of August.

Normal service and news aggregation will resume on the 18th, but in the meantime please enjoy the Manifesto.