Network Rail has published its Environment Sustainability Strategy about the steps to be taken over the next 30 years “for rail travel to be the cleanest, greenest form of mass transport”.
The report details Network Rail’s vision to serve the UK with the cleanest, greenest mass transport, with four core priorities; a low emission railway, a reliable railway service that is resilient to climate change, improved biodiversity of plants and wildlife plus minimal waste and sustainable use of materials.
Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of Network Rail, said: “I want to see rail powering Britain’s green economic recovery as we build back better from COVID-19. That is why this strategy matters to me and to everyone at Network Rail.
“[The report] is a guide to how we should think, plan and manage the way our railway is run. Some of the steps on this journey are ones we can take now. Others will develop over time.
“They will lead us towards a railway which cuts its emissions to a minimum, prepares for climate change, protects and strengthens lineside habitats and limits the impact of the waste and plastic pollution we create.”
David Clarke, Technical Director at the Railway Industry Association, said: “Rail travel is already a low carbon mode of transport, but there is always more the industry can do to make our railways greener, to adapt to the growing threat of climate change, improve air quality, reduce the amount of materials we use and protect and encourage new ecosystems and habitats for wildlife.
“Network Rail’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy sets out a clear path for making our railways even more environmentally-friendly, and it is a plan that rail suppliers are keen to support. Rail businesses across the country have the skills, innovative thinking and drive to minimise the network’s impact on the planet.
“Getting started now will also stimulate an economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, creating jobs and investment across the UK, ultimately delivering a high-performing, sustainable transport system for the future.”