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Module:6  Travel and Transport

receives the equivalent of a £900 billion subsidy every year from the UK government.12

CO² comparison

The average suburban diesel train produces around 74 gm/km CO² per passenger.  A mainline diesel hauled train is around 61 gm/km. An electric mainline train is around 54 gm/km per passenger.13 The above figures assume a 30% loading. In practice many trains are running at or near capacity, so although total emissions per train will increase under such conditions, actual figures per passenger will be lower.

The average car on sale in 2008 produces around 165gms/km14 and although models with lower emissions exist they represent only a small part of total sales. It depends how many people travel in the car and so much will also depend on traffic conditions and how the car is driven. Two people in one car may achieve 82.5 gm/km per passenger. Far too many trips are made with just the driver.

An average one hour flight will cover 400-500km. The average short haul aircraft produces around 870 gm/km per passenger.15

Grieve – What does God say?

You shall not covet your neighbour's house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour. Exodus 20:17

The word covet is hardly used today but it means to wish for longingly, to desire16. Moses was told to tell his people that it was wrong for anyone to desire everything their neighbour had. They were to be content with what they had and not be jealous about their neighbour's latest possessions.

Both the motor industry and the travel industry spend millions of pounds each year creating desire for their products. The only reason we wish to spend our holidays abroad is because we have been wooed by the adverts, and attracted by what we see as an affordable price tag. What was the motivation behind buying the first car we had?  We were presented with an image that a car was something desirable, to help us win girlfriends, get jobs, be on a par with all our friends. That image has been built up over a number of years not only by the motor industry but also by the media. A recent random check on the Independent newspaper revealed no less than 27 adverts for cars in a single edition, plus one full page feature. Not one of the featured cars had CO² emissions of below 150 gm/km.

12John Whitelegg

13Association of Train Operating Companies – Baseline energy statement.

14Society of Motor Manufacturers/DfT

15Eurostats 2006

16Chambers Concise Dictionary


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