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Cuts to South Western Railway Services

November 7, 2021 10:22 PM
By Ellen Nicholson

Rail travel is the most sustainable form of public transport and plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions, air pollution and traffic on our roads. Rail travel cuts carbon emissions by two thirds compared to traveling by car.

A report by the Department for Transport showed rail produced a total of two Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2016 - the same as in 1990.

This compared with:
• Cars and taxis - 70.3 MtCO2e in 2016, compared with 72.3 MtCO2e in 1990
• Domestic and international aviation - 35.5 MtCO2e in 2016, up from 17.1 MtCO2e in 1990
• Heavy goods vehicles - 20.3 MtCO2e in 2016, compared with 20.5 in 1990


According to Government statistics, in 2019, domestic transport was responsible for emitting 122 MtCO2 e (million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) meaning transport is by far the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gas emissions, producing 27% of the UK's total emissions in 2019 .

It is therefore vital that in the year the UK hosts the most important climate talks ever at COP26 in Glasgow that the UK's transport operators provide the service levels necessary to ensure the UK does not have a car-based recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and dramatically increases mode
shift from road to rail.

The environmental and economic case for rail is not in doubt which makes the proposals to reduce services across the South Western Railway network inexplicable South Western Railway Proposed Cuts

South Western Railway's consultation proposes cutting:
• A total of 13 per cent of high peak trains per hour to London
• A total of 14 per cent of Off-peak trains per hour to London
• A total of 14 per cent of Main Suburban AM peak trains per hour to London
• A total of 14 per cent of Main Suburban off peak trains per hour to London


Instead of the short-termism of cutting rail services and jobs our country needs a historic investment in our railways to ensure we have the future capacity, capability, and workforce to provide the viable and affordable alternative to cars.

These cuts to services will only serve to drive more people into their cars and onto our already congested roads

Write to SWR Managing Director Claire Mann expressing your concerns on depleted services.