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planet ark : green appeal helps uk trains in battle vs planes function gotocontent() { selection = document.sitelinks.selectlink.options[document.sitelinks.selectlink.selectedindex].value; if (selection == "none") { return; } if (selection.indexof("http:") != -1) { location.href = selection; } else { location.href = "/" + selection; } } function gotosearch() { location.href = "/searchresults.cfm?criteria=" + escape(document.searchlinks.searchlink.options[document.searchlinks.searchlink.selectedindex].value) } subscribe to daily environment news   national tree day planet ark home select a topic from this pull-down menu ------------------------------- read the latest reuters world environment news look at the latest reuters environment news pictures receive free daily news headlines via email search the planet ark news archive find out about national tree day visit the planet ark media centre who are planet ark? find out about planet ark's campaigns find out about the local recycling services available in your area green appeal helps uk trains in battle vs planes mail this story to a friend | printer friendly version uk: july 4, 2007 london - the train is catching up with the plane in britain, with airports reporting fewer domestic travellers and trains becoming ever more full. liverpool's john lennon airport last week finally fell victim to the rise of rail after years of competition when belgian airline vlm scrapped its last flights from london, saying it could not make money on them. at nearby manchester airport, the number of domestic travellers fell by 8.6 percent to 1.33 million in the first five months of this year. and while airline executives argue that the weakness is largely due to consumer sentiment, train companies have seen no such evidence. journeys between manchester and london were up 18.2 percent to around 821,700 in a similar timeframe, says virgin rail, a joint venture between stagecoach and richard branson's virgin group. in recent years, journeys which typically took over four hours by rail - such as london to edinburgh - were successfully targeted by airlines. but the sector's rule of thumb is changing in britain amid tight airport security which slows boarding and the impact of rising taxes and interest rates. and this year, aviation has also started to face a growing challenge from environmentally-conscious travellers concerned at co2 emissions from planes. modal shift "environmental issues have had a major impact," said stagecoach chief executive brian souter. "we are seeing a modal shift." the environmental statistics vary wildly, putting the co2 impact of aviation anywhere between four and ten times that of rail on domestic-length journeys. but airline executives argue money and time are still the biggest factors. "if people do have an environmental conscience, you can buy it for a fiver," said one. and european air travel is still expected to double by 2020, says the industry body airports council international. but uk domestic aviation has been suffering for the last few months as consumers tighten purse strings amid rising interest rates and terrorism fears, highlighted last week when two attackers rammed a burning jeep into glasgow airport. a failed plot to bomb transatlantic airliners last august had already led to a crackdown at uk airports causing queues and delays and forcing some travellers back on to long-distance trains. there they discovered that the slow, overcrowded carriages they remembered had been replaced by slicker, faster trains as years of investment in once-creaking infrastructure starts to make itself felt. many trains have power sockets and wifi wireless internet to attract business travellers. "people are now treating the train as an extension of the office," said a virgin rail spokesman. "we hear of lawyers billing for four or five hundred pounds while on the train." with rail in the ascendancy and two major franchises up for grabs in coming months -- cross country and intercity east coast -- competition is heating up between operators such as stagecoach, national express, firstgroup and arriva. the heaviest blow the heaviest blow for domestic airlines came when then-finance minister gordon brown doubled airport tax (apd) from feb 1 because of environmental concerns, forcing up air fares, said an easyjet spokesman. the long-term decline in uk domestic aviation is inevitable, having only been given room to grow due to the lack of investment in high speed railways, says chris green, chairman of the railway forum. "we are out of step with the rest of europe, but ultimately domestic aviation will decline as high speed lines replace them," he added. "the change has started, which is very exciting." longer term, a new north-south high speed rail link could persuade 90 percent of travellers to switch to the train for journeys from london to manchester, up from around 55 percent today, says jim steer, a former managing director of britain's strategic rail authority. steer is campaigning, through his group greengauge21, for that link to be built, which would cut the journey time between london and manchester from today's 130 minutes to 90 minutes. easyjet chief executive andy harrison told reuters in a recent interview he was not overly concerned by increasing competition from trains, but added: "if we ever had a true high speed rail service to scotland, that would affect the airlines." steer says that with a high speed link to manchester and further upgrades north of there, the journey time to central scotland could be cut to 3 hours. however steer says the 11 billion pounds (us$22.1 billion) project is still at least 10 years away, even with strong political backing. story by pete harrison reuters news service  environmental news search enter your keywords to search our news archive by subject. type "greenpeace", for example, into the box below and you will be given a listing of all planet ark's news and images relating to greenpeace.    sort by relevance   sort by date alternatively, why not check out our news archive on an issue by issue basis? select a topic from the list below to learn everything you need to know about the topics contained within this search engine. acid rain air pollution asbestos animal rights biodiversity chernobyl disaster climate change coastal issues conservation coral reef dams and reservoirs deforestation dioxin driftnet fishing eco groups - friends of the earth eco groups - greenpeace eco groups - wwf eco groups - sierra club eco groups - peta electric cars el nino emissions - carbon dioxide emissions - carbon monoxide emissions - methane emissions - nitrogen oxide emissions - smog emissions - trading endangered species energy tax energy - solar energy - wind energy - hydro energy - fuel cells energy - cogeneration environmental health erosion exxon valdez disaster fishing forests fossil fuels fuel cells fur genetic engineering genetically modified food global warming greenhouse effect greenhouse gases green politics hazardous waste heavy metals herbicides hunting hydrocarbons insecticides insects keiko kyoto landfill landmines lead issues marine issues natural disasters - floods natural disasters - hurricanes natural disasters - drought natural disasters - el nino natural gas nuclear power nuclear waste oceans oil spills organic food ozone layer pcb's pesticides pollution - general pollution - ozone pollution - smog public health rainforest rare species recycling renewable energy salinity soil erosion sustainable development trees tourism toxics volcanoes waste waste management water pollution weather wetlands wilderness wildlife whaling zoos xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx © 2008 reuters limited. all rights reserved. republication or redistribution of reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of reuters.   today'senvironmentnews australia:deep sea probe to track australia climate change australia:australia to end plastic bags in supermarkets china:china comes down hard on pangolin smugglers ecuador:ecuador volcano spews ash, 700 evacuated india:fifteen feared killed in indian kashmir avalanches japan:japan plans us$10 bln aid to fight global warming mozambique:mozambique to evacute flood victims, malawi hit norway:glaciers grew even when alligators lived in arctic sri lanka:floods displace more than 30,000 in east sri lanka uk:britain starts new push for nuclear power us:nyc council votes to mandate plastic bag recycling us:us campaign spurs bid to solve climate change us:cloning-for-food growth seen slow if fda approves us:magnitude 6.4 quake off oregon coast - usgs us:wal-mart faces hurdles in green electronics us:lifting the lid: banks urged to address climate change vietnam:zoo in vietnam admits to auctioning tiger bodies previous day this site developed by frontline, and managed by planet ark using rpm-nt. site designed by jon dee @ planet ark.
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