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Author Topic: “flygskam”, or “flight-shame”, movement  (Read 2245 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #45 on: January 14, 2020, 07:55:37 pm »


Exeter to London City by air seems a nonsense too, even more so once Crossrail opens. 

You would think so, wouldn't you? Except that one of my daughters here in Devon had to be at Maida Vale studios by 10.00 am one day. For the journey, the options were train (£136 single, £273 anytime return) on the first three Paddington trains of the day, going up the night before with much cheaper rail options but requiring a hotel, plus an overnight babysitter (guess who), or the 0700 Flybe to London City costing £33 and a £30 late train home. It was a nice day, and a lovely flight with lots of scenery to admire for the hour it took. I dropped her at the airport at 6.15, so check-in didn't extend the time much.
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broadgage
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« Reply #46 on: January 14, 2020, 08:51:43 pm »

There will always be situations when air will be cheaper or otherwise preferable to rail.
With the present concerns regarding the climate, I do not feel that that air travel should be made cheaper by reduction in the duty, and thereby tilting the balance further towards air.

Indeed I would prefer to see an INCREASE in air passenger duty, so as to discourage air travel and encourage rail.

If we are serious about climate change, we need to fly less, not more.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #47 on: January 14, 2020, 08:53:13 pm »

You would think so, wouldn't you? Except that one of my daughters here in Devon had to be at Maida Vale studios by 10.00 am one day. For the journey, the options were train (£136 single, £273 anytime return) on the first three Paddington trains of the day, going up the night before with much cheaper rail options but requiring a hotel, plus an overnight babysitter (guess who), or the 0700 Flybe to London City costing £33 and a £30 late train home. It was a nice day, and a lovely flight with lots of scenery to admire for the hour it took. I dropped her at the airport at 6.15, so check-in didn't extend the time much.
Agree, that with that disparity in price people will choose air even when the time difference is marginal if not negative.

But.... when comparing the cheap air fares with rail, we need to remember why we're having this discussion.  Because Flybe were about to go bust, yet again, and have needed their shareholders to prop them up, again.  Maybe not surprising when they offer a fare of £20 + APD on a peak flight to London?
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grahame
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« Reply #48 on: January 14, 2020, 08:56:28 pm »

...Unfortunately even from Bristol to Scotland the balance is definitely in favour of air, but the railway doesn't help the environmental cause for those who do have the time and inclination to go the greener way by charging fares that are so much higher.

Bring back the Edinburgh-Brstol sleeper?

Personally, love the sleeper for distant work away; problem is that it doesn't always go to the right place, and the return leaves bloomin late.

Bristol to Edinburgh? Maybe but, please, can we make it a moving hotel. Checkins from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., checkouts from 06:30 to 09:30.  Probably provide a connectional ticket for the areas.    If I have a couple of days work to do in - well - Coatbridge and can by myself a travel-with-bed  ...
* Leave my local station at Melksham 18:55
* Check in to my moving hotel at 20:30 at Temple Meads, grab a drink and bite to eat
* Up at 07:00, grab a coffee and perhaps breakfast
* 08:20 connection from downstairs out to Kirkwood.
All in one system to work out Melksham to Kirkwood.  All in one ticket.  No sitting  waiting around to board late in the evening.   Whether this is attractive and priced to attract enough people, and whether it makes enough use of the stock and staff .... I don't know.

Price?   Note you may be saving 2 nights of hotel costs.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #49 on: January 14, 2020, 09:43:07 pm »

https://youtu.be/QrrIRr9arkM

🙂
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TonyK
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« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2020, 11:09:28 pm »


But.... when comparing the cheap air fares with rail, we need to remember why we're having this discussion.  Because Flybe were about to go bust, yet again, and have needed their shareholders to prop them up, again.  Maybe not surprising when they offer a fare of £20 + APD on a peak flight to London?

In that respect, they are not unlike some train and bus operators. I am sure that, like them, if Flybe has become a non-profit organisation, it was not by choice.

The economics of public transport never cease to amaze me. Flying 180 passengers for four hours in a new aircraft costing upwards of $150 million has made Sir Stelios a billionaire, even charging a pittance for the fares. Yet it seems very difficult to put food on the table by transporting four times that number in a 30-year old train built to hold half as many for the price of a fortnight's self catering in Benidorm, and no gain can ever be made from running buses, other than the big popular city centre routes.

Our current Prime Minister was interviewed on telly this morning, and seemed to consider domestic air routes as being essential to the economy and well-being of the country, helping to hold the union together and connecting far flung places. Whether he was thinking of minimising the time it takes to get to Cornwall and back in the event of another crisis that needs pictures of the Prime Minister looking concerned on the front page of the paper, or whether it was the use of Flybe as a feeder to larger airports, I don't know.

I have done domestic flights only twice, both from Bristol; once to Glasgow for business, saving probably two nights hotel and a day of useful work, once to Edinburgh for fun and culture. Both are further from Bristol than Paris or Brussels, neither of which I would consider by train for business, although if I had a day or two free, I wouldn't mind. I spurned domestic flights for rail getting from New York to Canada - 9 hours and fascinating, although I am glad we went first class - so I'm not all bad. Although I have flown from Bristol to Devon a couple of times, so maybe I am.
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« Reply #51 on: January 15, 2020, 09:18:03 am »

A surprise birthday weekend in London for my wife.
She works weekdays, not finishing until around 4.30pm, and starts Monday morning by 7.30am.
Train to London from Pz, so not arriving at the hotel there until midnight or so (maybe an expensive meal on the Pullman).
Sunday return from London - very iffy.
Flight from Newquay late afternoon to Southend, so hotel by early evening, and time for a relaxing meal.
Full day in London on Saturday.
Leisurely breakfast Sunday, with mid afternoon flight back to Newquay; home by early evening.

Flight it is.

Have taken the train to London & back for a family holiday to Vegas; train travel didn't involve weekends, so not a problem.

Flybe very good for us at Newquay.
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« Reply #52 on: January 15, 2020, 06:22:19 pm »


But.... when comparing the cheap air fares with rail, we need to remember why we're having this discussion.  Because Flybe were about to go bust, yet again, and have needed their shareholders to prop them up, again.  Maybe not surprising when they offer a fare of £20 + APD on a peak flight to London?

The economics of public transport never cease to amaze me. Flying 180 passengers for four hours in a new aircraft costing upwards of $150 million has made Sir Stelios a billionaire, even charging a pittance for the fares. Yet it seems very difficult to put food on the table by transporting four times that number in a 30-year old train built to hold half as many for the price of a fortnight's self catering in Benidorm, and no gain can ever be made from running buses, other than the big popular city centre routes.



I suspect it's because Easyjet tend to fly full planes on profitable routes without having a social obligation to maintain less profitable/loss making routes - If (for example) the Night Riviera wasn't heavily subsidised any normal business would close it down tomorrow.

Also worth remembering that not all Easyjet fares are a "pittance", only really so if you book well in advance, and there are very limited number of the cheapest tickets on each flight.

It's also a lean, efficient operation which minimises Opex, I reckon you'll find the majority of train drivers earn more than its pilots.

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« Reply #53 on: January 15, 2020, 06:43:04 pm »

As TG says, many services would cease to operate without subsidy, across the entire transport spectrum, and it’s very important that they continue for social reasons.  Recent cuts to buses doesn’t bode well for the future.
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« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2020, 07:16:25 pm »

As TG says, many services would cease to operate without subsidy, across the entire transport spectrum, and it’s very important that they continue for social reasons.  Recent cuts to buses doesn’t bode well for the future.

Indeed, and I have no objection to subsidies for train services, buses, and some ferries.
However I do not believe that air travel should be subsidised unless there is some truly exceptional reason to do so.

If people wish to fly within the mainland UK to save time or for some other reason, then in my view they should pay a fare that reflects the true and non subsidised costs of providing the service. And they should pay a tax or levy to reflect the environmental cost of flying, this tax or levy should be gradually increased year on year.
I would only permit subsidies in the case of small and remote islands that are not accessible by boat or ship, and these subsidies should be gradually reduced year on year.
Within living memory, some islands were only accessible when weather and tides were favourable. Those days may yet return, but not overnight.
I would exempt electric aircraft from any such charges or levies, electric aircraft may soon become the norm for short hops to islands.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #55 on: January 15, 2020, 07:30:30 pm »

As TG says, many services would cease to operate without subsidy, across the entire transport spectrum, and it’s very important that they continue for social reasons.  Recent cuts to buses doesn’t bode well for the future.

I would only permit subsidies in the case of small and remote islands that are not accessible by boat or ship, and these subsidies should be gradually reduced year on year.
Really? How many islands (within the British Isles) aren't accessible by sea, but have airports.

It's perfectly reasonable to provide subsidies to enable those further flung parts of the UK, particularly the Highlands and Islands to enable them to have half decent access to the rest of the country at an affordable price. The amount of carbon emitted by such social lifelines will be miniscule in comparison with any other form of carbon emission. By the way, I'm not sure I regard Newquay (ie Cornwall) in that category, although  it's marginal.
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broadgage
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« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2020, 07:45:18 pm »

AFAIK several Scottish islands are only reliably accessible by air. The "airport" is a flat bit of grass not a large or elaborate structure. One route takes about 90 seconds and is reputedly the shortest commercial route in the world.
Continued subsidy might be justified in such cases.
However within the mainland UK, rail is the future, and a largely electrified railway at that.

If climate change is to be taken seriously, we cant carry on flying to anything like the present extent.

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-like-to-fly-on-the-shortest-commercial-flight-in-the-world-2018-3?r=US&IR=T

Is the sort of flight that might justify subsidy, and that could probably use an electric plane.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 08:01:39 pm by broadgage » Logged

A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2020, 08:24:35 pm »

The example you cite does have sea connections, so don't think it counts.

There's a difference between saying we can't carry on flying to anything like the present extent and making life so damn difficult for a very small minority of the population that would make not a jot of difference in terms of the UK's contribution to carbon emissions.

If you're that concerned about carbon emissions then ban all meat tomorrow (including your beloved steak), as the emissions generated by cows will far outweigh a few flights around the Scottish Islands.  (I expect you're going to tell me now that you've got a herd of cattle fed on specially adapted feed to minimise emissions, and carbon extraction facilities in the cowshed. )

And ban all non-essential travel from tomorrow too.  No football matches, no going to the cinema, and let's introduce clothes rationing through coupons to minimise the carbon impact of excessive clothes production too, whilst we're at it.  Absurd?  Unrealistic?  Yes, but if you're that evangelical about the subject then why not. It'll save much more than the odd flight to Papa Westray that only consumes 10 kg of fuel.
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broadgage
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« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2020, 11:57:14 pm »

I have no cattle, low carbon or otherwise.
I have however reduced my intake of red meat, and generally eat locally produced free range meat.
I do not fly and have not done so for nearly 20 years, and flew very little before then.
I do not drive, and minimise use of taxis.
I heat my home only moderately, from locally produced firewood and off peak electricity.
I keep a reserve of anthracite, and of paraffin, and of candles, but consume very little of these fossil fuels whilst times are normal.
Clothes rationing would not worry me, I only replace clothes when worn out, never for fashion reasons. I think nothing of wearing uniform sports shirts issued by previous employers.
I never attend concerts or football matches, but would not begrudge these pleasures to others, I would hope however that more people would chose bus or train rather than air travel or driving to such events.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #59 on: January 16, 2020, 09:50:54 am »

Clothes rationing would not worry me, I only replace clothes when worn out, never for fashion reasons. I think nothing of wearing uniform sports shirts issued by previous employers.
I think nothing of wearing shirts issued by other people's employers!

(Only one in fact; if you see me wearing a Hewlett-Packard polo shirt, it's the one my BiL gave me because he was too big for it.)
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