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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 07:01 GMT 08:01 UK
Eurostar plans 'greener' trains
Ebbsfleet International Station
Ebbsfleet International Station is due to open this autumn
Plans to cut CO2 emissions have been unveiled by Eurostar when it starts faster journeys in six months' time.

From 14 November the cross-Channel firm will use St Pancras station instead of London Waterloo, when Kent's Ebbsfleet International station will also open.

The train operator said it was aiming to go "carbon neutral" from November.

Chief executive Richard Brown said: "A high-speed rail journey is 10 times greener than flying and Eurostar can be greener still."

Eurostar is leading the way
Tony Juniper
Friends of the Earth

Eurostar has set a target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per traveller by 2012.

The move involves reducing power consumption on its rolling stock, making better use of train capacity and sourcing more electricity from lower-emission generators.

Further eco-friendly steps include cutting the consumption of raw materials, sourcing responsibly and recycling more waste, the company said.

Friends of the Earth executive director Tony Juniper said it was "great news that Eurostar is leading the way in the travel industry".

Ashford service

In Kent, the opening of Ebbsfleet International has led to plans to cut services at Ashford.

The rail firm has said most passengers will find Ebbsfleet "either the same or less of a distance to travel".

A petition signed by 8,000 people opposing the move has already been handed to Eurostar by a group of Kent politicians.

On Sunday, Kent County Council revealed the results of an online poll on Eurostar services, which was replied to by 4,787 people in a month.

KCC said 97% of respondents, who came from the Maidstone, Ashford, Canterbury and Dover areas, wanted services to remain in Ashford instead of Ebbsfleet.


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