Next UK government must make trains cheaper than flights, Scottish Greens say

The Scottish Greens have said the next UK government must ensure train travel is cheaper than flying in a bid to cut emissions.

The Greens are asking the next government to use taxation on aviation, including a flyer levy, in order to subsidise rail tickets on certain routes.

The Greens’ manifesto on aviation also includes removing tax breaks on fuel and a £1,000 per person tax on all private users landing in the UK.

Party co-leader Lorna Slater said trains should always be cheaper than flying.

ScotRail train stock
ScotRail trains at Edinburgh Waverley Station (Jane Barlow/PA)

She said: “Travelling by rail in the UK is far more expensive than in many other countries, so it is no wonder that so many are choosing to fly.

“We badly need to turn that around. It is ridiculous that people who use the train are being punished for making cleaner and greener choices.

“The next UK government must take urgent action to make it easier and cheaper to do the right thing.

“That means using taxes from aviation to cut the price of trains and increase the number of direct rail connections between cities across the UK.”

Ms Slater said her party is committed to cheaper rail fares, citing the removal of peak rail fares in Scotland as an example of the Greens’ commitment.

She added: “We also need to end the tax reliefs on aviation and ensure it is taxed in a way that reflects the enormous impact it has on our climate.

“Half of all aviation emissions come from just 1% of the world’s population.

“That’s why the Scottish Greens are also proposing a frequent flyer levy and a private jet tax. It is about targeting those who are doing the most damage.

“As well as encouraging responsible travel, the income raised can be used to bring down rail fares, and invest in expanding and improving our rail network.”