Flight shaming

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by grumpyoldman01, 22 May 2019.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The journey in question would involve a Voyager, and I'd say the as-built seats (same as in the Pendolino) are the most comfortable First Class seats in the UK.

    2+2 is not "First Class", it's a seat reservation fee for commuters. But no long-distance TOC is doing that.
     
  2. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    True - and I don't intend to. Although that wasn't part of the calculation (I assume they get the pitter-patter of tiny carbon footprints).
     
  3. Dougal2345

    Dougal2345 Member

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    Thanks for that!

    May I try a little "thought experiment"? Say, for every flight you take to visit your family, instead of some invisible CO2 emissions, there is a direct tangible impact. Say, every time you fly, your neighbour's garden will be flooded with crude oil. There is nothing your neighbour can do about this - no laws to stop you flying or recompense him.

    Your neighbour's a keen gardener and has a nice fishpond too, grows vegetables perhaps. He pleads with you not to fly again for the third time this year - he's only just finished decontaminating his garden after the last time and knows if it happens again all his fish will die and he'll never be able to grow anything edible again.

    Would you fly?
     
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    I find the concept of flight shaming a little depressing (and yes, I do have a vested interest!).

    One of the best things to happen to the world in the last half century has been the democratisation of air travel. It's now feasible and realistic for ordinary people to travel affordably to pretty much anywhere on earth, experiencing different cultures and broadening the horizons of millions of people. Travel is the most valuable education you will get outside a school.

    This notwithstanding, of course, people should be made to pay for the environmental cost, which is not the case in most countries. (The UK charges APD which goes towards green schemes, but I don't know exactly how the money is spent)
     
  5. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    Agree that we should be thinking about any journey we take, flight shaming is a waste of time.

    I don't have a car, live in a shared house and walk/take public transport everywhere, so I suspect I have lower emissions than work colleagues who would drive round the corner to buy a pint a milk.
     
    Last edited: 22 May 2019
  6. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    As an Island nation it's even important within our country. If I need to go Stornoway, Belfast or Brighton for work as I often need to do, then ground options are not often realistic given my company won't pay me to go a day in advance. I haven't done a calculation but for some of those trips I suspect hiring a car just for me and catching ferries wouldn't exactly make me carbon neutral.
     
  7. BigCj34

    BigCj34 Member

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    I'll just sail transatlantic, even though its carbon footprint is even worse than flying economy.
     
  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes, I think this sort of encapsulates my problem with it. I agree 100% that where there is a feasible rail alternative, it doesn't make sense to fly.

    The campaigners want people to travel less - as in, to make decisions not to see other countries. In a time where people and politics become more insular, I think we should be encouraging travel. The future cannot involve travel only being the preserve of the wealthy elite.
     
  9. farci

    farci Member

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    Are we conflating generally accepted logic? Up to 200 miles/300km train beats air or road in minimising environmental damage and end-to-end journey time. We iive on an island with a monopoly franchise with very expensive connections through the Channel Tunnel.

    Where are the opportunities for us to take advantage of a high speed rail network in UK? Success of this mode in continental Europe depends on a network, hence the disquiet in UK about the cost of the strictly limited proposed HS lines
     
  10. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    No one has mentioned carbon offsetting yet, or if they have, I missed it. Whilst there is some debate about its effectiveness, and that it is a sticking plaster cure rather than prevention, there’s no doubt in my mind that it is better than not doing it.

    My most common flight is London to Geneva, which according to a few carbon calculators creates about 350-400kg of CO2 per return trip depending on airline. Offsetting that costs about a tenner, which, incidentally, is less than the air passenger duty for the outward flight. Alternatively, every time you fly, plant a few trees (or donate to the Woodland Trust, or similar, who will do it for you). Yes I know it’s not perfect, but every little helps?
     
  11. route:oxford

    route:oxford On Moderation

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    If you know your stuff and codeshare your LoganAir flight from Dundee via Stansted - can save £000s in comparison to flying from EDI. It's all down to it being a rural Highland Airport run by an offshoot of the Scottish Goverment and having an exemption from APD.
     
  12. Crepello

    Crepello New Member

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    Meanwhile, it's now being reported that one of the biggest industrial polluters is now.... China. Who'da thunk it?!

    Can we now look forward to the activist knuckleheads taking their carbon footprints over to Beijing, to disrupt that transportation network? If course we can't - and we all know why!
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Depends what job you do. Travel for face to face meetings is often an unnecessary luxury - a lot of people just do it because they like being sociable.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The UK is long and thin and already has some quite fast IC lines - I'm not sure this is anything like the issue you suggest. Part of the problem is businesses wanting more time-efficient travel and so mandating air. Ban domestic flights (or tax them into submission[1]) and they'd have to deal with it. (I think post-HS2 there could be a strong benefit to doing this).

    [1] Much as carbon offsetting isn't as good as not emitting it, perhaps making this mandatory for flights would help?
     
  15. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    During the NUM strike back in the 80s I was virulently supportive of Scargill and the cause to save pit workers jobs. As they say hindsight is a wonderful thing - now I see it as the cloud with a silver lining. Not only do people not have to work in dangerous conditions underground but buildings don't have to be steam cleaned every few years and all the crap belched out from coal fired power stations and factories (and from earlier times steam locos and household fires) isn't polluting our lungs. What we have now is the same blinkered vision - "I'm not giving up MY right to fly even if means respiratory illnesses/deaths will continue to rise" you are basically putting up two extremely selfish fingers to everyone else - you being ever so important and your journey being oh so necessary. .. that shaming enough for you
     
  16. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    Very much depends on your job, parts of what I do can and is done by remoting into systems but some stuff must be done onsite with the company's customers. However I do know the sales teams often find face-to-face meetings critical to them winning the contracts with the clients in the first place. Default travel option is always train if at all possible.
     
  17. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    But then the rise of technology means that travel time by train can (depending on space, wifi etc) be productive, whether from doing work on the train or watching TV/movies etc. That 3 hour train journey where you can do productive work on your laptop is no longer dead time.
     
  18. baz962

    baz962 Established Member

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    Third that. My ex moved to the USA and took my son when he was six. Apart from the last two years as I couldn't afford it , I used to fly out once a year for a week . It's not enough , I miss him far to much.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed, though that does require the trains to be designed to facilitate that, i.e. tables and power sockets. The Voyager style layout just doesn't cut it.
     
  20. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    What would be the cut off point for domestic? Fine for reducing flights like Newcastle to London but do we apply the same tax on a flight from Derry to Bristol or Shetland to Edinburgh? I'd protest that heavily being dictated by people in well connected regions given these flights are important for so many groups e.g. people requiring hospital treatment.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    By domestic I mean on the same island - it wouldn't be practical to avoid flights to/from Ireland given how slow the alternatives are (and ships are by no means innocent). Scottish socially necessary island-hoppers would be similarly exempt. Really, however, there's no excuse, certainly post-HS2, to be flying from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow, or worse Manchester and those could just be banned outright if the railway doesn't just kill them off.

    Mind you, talking of the Scottish island-hoppers (the likes of that one that lands on a beach - I really have to do that at some point, though I should probably be shamed for wanting to do it for the fun of it), being low-capacity, short-distance and low-speed these are likely the best candidates imaginable for being operated using electric aircraft once these are viable.
     
  22. jkkne

    jkkne Member

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    I’d happily use rail travel more for business if it was time efficient (indeed the growing use of teleconferencing is helping in that respect)

    But in a world where I can fly to Spain in less time than it takes my trusty unreliable expensive TPE 185 to get to Manchester from Newcastle you’re going to struggle to convince me to switch to the railway full time as a whole...even for leisure.
     
  23. jagardner1984

    jagardner1984 Member

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    I think with the exception of a very few people with excellent connectivity to St Pancras, and to a small selection of international destinations, a flight will be quicker for an international trip.

    For domestic trips, a combination of spectacular underinvestment over decades, and bizarre taxation choices mean that people are having to make counterintuitive choices (more expensive, slower) to take the greener route. Until that’s resolved, we won’t make significant progress.

    As an example, on London - Glasgow trips, my work policy was to reimburse “the cheapest method”. On several occasions I was asked to justify why I’d bought an off peak return at £140-150 (usually shortish notice and relatively inflexible in timings).

    “Surely there was a cheaper flight ....”

    That is what you are up against. Most of us took to saving time stamped pdfs of Skyscanner and National Rail to show our logic. If that Ryanair mid afternoon flight to Stansted was £2 cheaper, they’d pick you up on it ....
     
  24. alangla

    alangla Member

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    Also doesn’t help that many work expenses policies are blind to the extra cost of Stansted Express or whatever at the other end. In saying that, at a previous employer, policy was to pay for first class for rail journeys over either 2 or 3 hours, when the WCRM project took Glasgow to London times into the “quicker than flying” category, Virgin did pick up some modal shift. The big problem is people travelling down for morning meetings though. There are convoys of planes leaving Edinburgh and Glasgow airport to arrive in London for about 0800, if you travel with VT, the earliest you can be in is 0906 on an 0428 departure! From Edinburgh you’re looking at 0940 off an 0540 departure, so the train is only a goer if you spend the night before in a hotel, which a lot of people with families don’t want to do.
     
  25. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    It would be great if true but it ain’t. According to the national travel survey only half the population use a plane each year. Trains are much more popular.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-travel-survey-2017
     
  26. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    30 million people using the plane is more people than choose to vote; I didn’t claim it was universal, just that it was democratised.

    Trains are more commonly used because you can do short trips on them to the next town! Very few people use them internationally.
     
  27. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I agree completely. Indeed, I think that's likely to get worse in the coming decade, not better. As long as we pursue current tax ans investment priorities there's very little hope of change before HS2 phase 2 is complete, if that ever happens.
     
  28. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    I'm not convinced. I think you communicate more, face to face. Teleconferencing is always rather stilted I find.
     
  29. Dougal2345

    Dougal2345 Member

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    Well yes, quite, we do know why. Sorry to seem dim, but I don't quite understand the point you're trying to make?
     
  30. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    If only half the UK population are plane users it means fully half the population suffer the noise, air pollution and climate harm of aviation and enjoy none of the benefits.

    It may be that the benefits to the half of the population that fly outweighs the harm to those who don't but - from the evidence of the article linked to in the OP - the advocates of aviation are struggling to win that argument.
     

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