August 5, 2009

Official says phase out domestic flights

British Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said Britain should phase out domestic air travel and concentrate its resources on high-speed rail services.

In an interview with The Guardian, Adonis said the benefits of the shift include environmental concerns.

For reasons of carbon reduction and wider environmental benefits, it is manifestly in the public interest that we systematically replace short-haul aviation with high-speed rail, he said.

The Times of London said domestic air services currently transport 46 million passengers a year.

Extending a 250-mph rail system from London to Glasgow, Scotland, would cost an estimated $51 billion. However, Adonis rejected arguments that it was too expensive. If we make it a national priority, then it is affordable, he said. If we don't, then it is not.