A shift from air to rail for passengers travelling between Scotland and London has led to a major reduction in carbon emissions, BBC Scotland has reported. Transform Scotland said rail journeys between central Scotland and London rose from a 20% market share to 33% between 2005 and 2015. It said the move to rail had saved more than 680,000 tonnes of emissions. This would be equivalent to removing all traffic on the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh for two years, it said. The figures were included in Transform Scotland's A Green Journey to Growth report, which said that additional emissions would be saved should rail use continue towards a 50% share of the travel market between Edinburgh and London by 2023.
The sustainable transport alliance's director, Colin Howden, said: "The Scottish transport sector has failed to take significant action to tackle climate change, and has recently become the single largest source of carbon emissions. "However, one area where there has been significant progress is in Anglo-Scottish travel, where rail's share of the travel market has grown strongly over the past decade. "For Scotland to meet its challenging climate targets, it is imperative that further action be taken to ensure that rail can grow to at least a 50% market share of the Scotland-London travel market over the next decade." He said this would include increased investment in the rail network, public bodies using the train rather than flying their staff to London, and a fairer taxation system for Anglo-Scottish travel.