Meeting focuses on greener travel

From the Evening Advertiser 

GREEN activists from Swindon will meet unions next week to share ideas about public transport.

Swindon Climate Action Network (Scan) and Swindon Trades Union Council are joining forces on Wednesday for an open meeting.

They will discuss how unions and environmental campaigners can encourage greater investment and use of public transport.

Hugh Kirkbride, district secretary of the Transport & General Workers’ Union, will be joining Andy Parsons, campaigns co-ordinator of Scan, to lead the discussion.

Andy said: “Transportation accounts for over a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions and personal transport is the fastest growing source of carbon dioxide.

“The UK has lagged behind in the sort of investment in public transport that is seen in Europe.

“High-speed rail in France has greatly reduced internal air travel and most cities and towns in Germany and the Netherlands have proper integrated public transport with trams, buses and trains all linked together, with simple tickets at a reasonable price.

“If they can do it, why can’t we? To get people out of cars and cut carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, as a country we urgently need to invest in decent alternatives.”

Martin Wicks, secretary of Swindon Trades Union Council, said: “It has long been accepted that there needs to be a decrease in the number of car journeys if pollution and global warming are to be tackled.

“However, while rail and bus transport are run as commercial businesses instead of public services there is little chance of a sufficient shift from the car to rail and bus taking place.

“We have organised this meeting with Scan to discuss how we can campaign locally and nationally for a major shift from car use to public transport.”

The meeting is open to all and will take place at the Broadgreen Centre in Salisbury Street at 7.30pm.

It is a short walk from bus stops in Fleming Way and Manchester Road.

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