THE UK’s first-ever Community Rail Week will is asking people in the Midlands to ‘go green by train’ to help tackle climate change.
The event, from October 18-24, is involving hundreds of community rail partnerships and volunteer groups running activities to promote their local railways, and giving communities and young people a voice on green transport.
Organised by Community Rail Network and sponsored by Rail Delivery Group, the week is focusing on young people’s views, voices and futures.
This follows a far reaching survey which found 70 per cent of young people questioned are keen to see more people using trains in the future, with the vast majority saying the environment and climate emergency is an important issue to them.
While 94 per cent have a station near enough for them to use, most (67 per cent) admitted there are factors getting in the way of them using trains, including practicalities with walking, cycling, or getting a bus to the station, being worried about cost, or driving or getting lifts being more convenient.
However, with greener transport recognised as a fundamental part of the solution to the climate emergency, Community Rail Week and the ‘Go Green by Train’ campaign looks to drive change at community level, working to help people get out of their cars and onto trains and other sustainable modes.
Figures show that transport is now the largest emitting sector in the UK, making up 27 per cent of domestic emissions in 2019.
Rail accounted for just one per cent of domestic transport emissions in 2019, despite representing 10 per cent of the total distance travelled, and is the greenest form of transport after walking and cycling.
One train can remove up to 500 cars off our roads.
Jools Townsend, chief executive of Community Rail Network, said: “Rail, combined with buses, walking, cycling, and shared mobility, provides a huge part of the solution: shifting as many journeys as we can onto these modes, and reducing private car use, can help us forge a more sustainable, healthy, inclusive future.”