London commuters the greenest

A survey of commuter's transport emissions has thrown up the surprising result that Londoners are the country's greenest.

Research, commissioned by EDF Energy, looked at the carbon footprint of the rush hour across the UK, but with a focus on London ahead of next year 2012 Olympic games.

According to the survey commuters in Greater London release the lowest rush-hour carbon emissions in the UK at 1.35 kg CO2 per person each day.

The results are mostly down to the capital’s well established train, tram and bus networks.

But according to researchers from Imperial College London, who put the report together, Londoner’s increased embracing of bicycles is also a contributing factor.

From the findings of the report it is estimated the overall rush hour carbon output across the UK is 32.7 million tonnes of CO2 a year – equivalent, claims EDF, to the carbon emissions produced by flying 16,750,264 people from London to Sydney.

According to the report, those in the north east have the second lowest carbon rush hour at 1.75kg CO2 per person per day.

But, the commuters with the greatest potential for improvement in rush-hour carbon emissions was in the eastern region (2.51kg CO2 per person per day), the east midlands (2.50kg CO2 per person per day) and the south west (2.45kg CO2 per person per day).

Report author Imperial College London, professor Nigel Brandon, also claimed it was not just London’s public transport network making the difference.

Professor Brandon, said: “Whilst not all UK cities have the public transport links which London benefits from, emulating the large number of those who are walking and cycling to work in the capital could help other cities achieve a lower carbon rush hour”.

Sprint kayak gold medallist, Tim Brabants, who is taking a break from his career as a doctor to train for London 2012, said: “As a Team Green Britain ambassador I hope to help make people realise lower carbon forms of transport can have multiple benefits.

“As well as being better for the environment, running or cycling can be cheaper, more enjoyable ways to get to work, and can help improve your fitness too.

“They are often very practical ways to travel and can sometimes even help you keep moving when others can’t get about.

“When I was working at the hospital in Nottingham I used to cycle my commute and in a period of heavy snow I was actually one of the few doctors to make it in.”

EDF’s director of London 2012 programme, Gareth Wynn, added: “As the first sustainability partner of London 2012, EDF Energy is aiming to use its involvement with the games to encourage people to live in a more environmentally friendly way.

“We’re hoping to encourage people to make changes in to the way they travel in the long term, helping to contribute to a positive legacy of sustainability for London 2012.”
Luke Walsh

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