As the UK fights another election neither leading party will commit on aviation strategy

As with many countries in the world, one of the biggest parts of our carbon footprint is air travel. I am not someone who thinks that all people should be grounded for life, not least because the majority of the wild places on the planet rely on tourism to bring in the money to pay for their upkeep. Without a tourism income how can we say to a country in Africa” you may not shoot the Lions that keep eating your cattle”.

However what we do need is to make sure that aviation is only used where it is necessary. With the increasing speed of fast trains and the potential arrival of hyperloop the distance at which you can use fully travel by rail is increasing dramatically. Indeed when you add in the time taken getting to the airport and getting back the flight time the booking in and everything else, fast trains are likely to beat air travel any day, across short distances, and these will increase over time if hyperloop and other extra fast transport systems start going online.

However it would appear that both conservative and labour parties the two main parties in the UK are not willing to commit themselves to doing what is necessary before they are elected.

Jeremy Corbyn has proved woolly on his stand to do with the increase in aviation capacity in the south of England. Boris Johnson was conveniently out of the country when a three line whip vote was held to approve a third runway at Heathrow. It is unfortunate that alternative solutions have not been given proper review- for instance one suggestion was to link Heathrow Gatwick and several other airports in the south of England by hyperloop (it could be argued that this will not be available until too late, though this argument does not stand much scrutiny). 

While this is not yet a reality, it is likely that it would be by the time any new runway was made, and the idea was that this would reduce the time to travel between Airport down to a similar period that it takes to travel between terminals, allowing essentially a super airport that is spread across the south of England.

It is obvious that was Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson are being unclear on the aviation stance on purpose. If they don’t have to say what they think before the election then they will be able to do whatever they like after it.¬†

These sort of political games over an important issue like this that is going to have a significant impact on the environment in the future should not still be being played in 2019, least of all in a country that claims to be among the leading countries of the world in tackling emissions and global warming.

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