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ENVIRONMENT & SUSTAINABILITY


“The other issue is occupancy. What’s clear is that increased occupancy affects the comparisons between modes of transport hugely. That was shown by the Eurostar study. The more people using rail without overcrowding the trains, the better. That’s the core driver. That’s one of the reasons why road freight isn’t as environmentally competitive as rail, because a large chunk of the roads are running part empty.”


Stations


He also praised the SusStation project, involving fi ve European nations including the UK, which RTM investigates on page 48.


He said: “If you look at the other projects that the other European countries have brought to SusStation, they’re doing big stations in reasonably sizeable cities like Cologne. But in a way, the fact this coun- try has chosen Accrington is a cause for celebration rather than disappointment. That’s because actually a lot of the rail industry and a lot of its emissions are in places like the Accrington stations of this world, rather than in the Eustons. So, hav- ing a template for new stations, new eco- stations, at that kind of level is going to be very important. In saying that, there is an issue there about the new standards being


Joseph reiterated this point: “The kind of issues we’ve been raising around high- speed rail are the ones that will determine this environmental question. For example, the railway obsession with building car parks at stations instead of looking at alternative ways at getting people to and from stations. That will add to emissions and make stations less environmentally friendly than they otherwise could be.


“Similarly, the development of parkway stations, and the use of released capacity.


“Some of that could be used not just for low-carbon transport as an alterative to freight and local passenger services, but also templates for wider, new, lower carbon developments, eco-towns, or other links to the existing West Coast Main Line, for example.”


applied, and Network Rail may fi nd it dif- fi cult to take them on board.”


The CBT was one of a large group of cam- paign groups and charities which earlier this year raised concerns about HS2: not the ferocious attacks on the planned route and business case like Stop HS2 campaign, but rather a series of sceptical questions on its environmental impact and whether the current proposals are the best possible.


Faster and faster


“There’s a question mark about the ‘trade- off’ between speed and emissions,” Joseph said. “We’ve been suggesting that that trade-off needs to be spelled out. Under current appraisal frameworks, it’s time- savings that drive the value for money cal- culations.


“That’s an incentive for going for very high speeds. I understand that the way the physics works on this is that once you’ve got the trains up to speed, if you keep them going, they can be as good if not better than current inter-city trains; so that’s an argu- ment for not having many stops.”


On this last point, not everyone is stuck in a rut: groups like Rail Champions, and transport designers like Paul Priestman, are coming up with innovative models of future public trans- port without the need for massive stations, car parks – or even stops. Turn to page 97 to fi nd out more.


Visit www.bettertransport.org.uk Stephen Joseph


FOR MORE INFORMATION


44 | rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11


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