Image credits: Transport for the North

Transport for the North’s (TfN) Chief Executive, Martin Tugwell, welcomed the Community Rail Network to Manchester Piccadilly today for the launch of its inaugural Community Rail Week and a new campaign aimed at driving change at the community level and encouraging people to ‘Go Green by Train’.

The campaign (see here) highlights the fact that greener transport choices are a fundamental part of the solution to the climate emergency and follows a survey of 1,000 16-24 year olds in which 94% of them said they had a station near enough for them to use, but 67% admitted there were factors getting in the way of them using trains.

Martin said: “The survey showed that seven out of ten young people want the country to Go Green by Train to help tackle climate change – but also made clear that many of the same young people felt there were still barriers in the way which sometimes prevent that from happening. We want to help change that, and Transport for the North is committed to working with the rail industry and our local communities to help make rail travel a compelling proposition for anyone who might be able to make use of it.”

The TfN Chief Executive also highlighted the fact that across the North the rail offer is now very different to the one that was on offer before the pandemic through a combination of new train fleets and improved reliability.

“Anyone who has been away from the train for a while might want to take a fresh look,” said Martin. “On many services here in the North it is now a totally different experience from what people might remember. It’s quite clear to me that young people are at the forefront of driving the climate change agenda and, in many cases, it is pester-power that is persuading the older generations to change their habits.

“Opting for a seat on a train instead of a seat in a traffic jam is one of the ways we can do that and if the Go Green by Train can raise awareness of the choices on offer in communities across the nation then it has my full support.”

Transport for the North is set to publish its Decarbonisation Strategy before the end of the calendar year, outlining how the strategic body will lead the agenda for the North’s transport of the future.