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Railways: Sustainable Development

Volume 486: debated on Tuesday 20 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to make fast rail services environmentally sustainable. (247965)

Rail generally performs well from an environmental perspective compared to other transport modes. It accounts for less than 1 per cent. of total UK carbon emissions.

The Department for Transport is working closely with the rail industry to improve the environmental performance of train services, for example, through facilitating the introduction of on-train energy meters and regenerative braking. We are including stringent environmental targets in new franchises and in the specification of new train designs such as the Intercity Express. All proposals for new rail schemes are appraised against a range of environmental criteria.