Station management companies around the UK have agreed to support and commit to the Sustainable Stations: Best Practice Guide which was published by the Rail Delivery Group this month.
The guide elaborates and advices on ways which train operators can be more sustainable and support the global goals of decarbonization, reducing waste and supporting local plant and animal life. The document will also be used by train companies when agreeing future contracts.
The UK has 2,563 railway stations across Britain and 85% of people living within 5km of one of them. The commitment hopes to have a revolutionary effect as it is estimated that attracting people out of cars and onto trains could add 300 million rail journeys over the next 10 years.
Consequently, this would mean preventing 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from cars, while further investments in HS2 is expected to cut one million lorry journeys over a similar period by increasing space for rail freight on existing lines.
Robert Nisbet, Director of Nations and Regions for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), said: “Stations are at the heart of countless communities across Britain, and many have already undertaken incredible work to reduce waste, cut carbon and support wildlife. Rail is already a green way to travel, but we know that there is more that we can do and, through this pledge, rail companies have made it clear that they are up to the challenge.”
Railway stations are estimated to cover more than 20km2 of land across Britain, an area around the size of Central London.
Practices of the guide have already been implemented, rainwater collection to cut water wastage at Birmingham New Street, solar panels at Accrington in Lancashire and dedicated wildflower zones at Perth to help local bee populations recover.