May 18, 2024

Scotland-London rail overtaking air travel in public sector

Rail has overtaken plane travel to and from Scotland for public bodies, according to a new report from Transform Scotland.

The report, Fight or Flight, analyses the travel patterns and policies of over 150 Scottish public bodies. 

Transform Scotland found that 52% of trips between the Central Belt and London are now being made by train. This figure is up from 26% a decade ago.

Concerted actions to reduce climate emissions have been made by a host of public bodies, including the Scottish Government.

Despite this, only one in four of the public sector’s top 50 fliers have a target to tackle emissions from air travel.

Research was gathered from Freedom of Information requests, ranging from NHS trusts and local authorities to colleges and universities.

Elspeth Wray, report author and spokesperson for Transform, said: “Rail is now winning out over air for trips to London and we’re pleased that Scotland’s public sector is taking action to tackle climate emissions by cutting back on domestic flights.

“But it’s deeply disappointing that the vast majority of the public sector have failed to target emissions from flying, despite the Scottish Government’s declaration of a climate emergency five years ago.”