Even the motoring fraternity are slowly waking up to the Government’s poor decision making of late. Alistair Sloane writes in the motoring section of today’s Herald:
High-speed trains in Europe generate between four and 40 times less CO2 per passenger than other modes of transport, says the European Union. It says high-speed rail lines take up half as much space as a motorway, and rail travel uses two to three times less energy than journeys by road. On the other side of the Atlantic, the US Government is looking into the use of diesel hybrid train engines and improved freight and passenger railway networks to ease oil imports and the country’s carbon footprint. Rail, it says, “could be reinvented with a ‘green’ image”. Across the Ditch, natural gas suppliers are upgrading distribution networks so that trucking companies can make more use of the cleaner-burning fuel. The truckies say they want to cut their exposure to volatile diesel prices and make a contribution to Australia’s carbon reduction effort. What do we do in New Zealand? We allow governments and road transport lobbyists to dumb down rail and boost the load-capacity of big diesel trucks. It comes under Kiwi ingenuity.