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high public transport costs 'undermining green efforts'

Increasing costs of public transport and the declining level of expenditure on motoring is damaging green efforts, it has been claimed.

Figures obtained by the Independent show that costs of motoring have fallen by 13 per cent since Labour came to power in 1997 but bus and coach fares have risen by 17 per cent.

Rail ticket fares have also increased in the last 12 years, by seven per cent above inflation.

Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail, told the newspaper: "If we want to reduce our carbon emissions, we need to make the most environmentally friendly forms of transport the choice. If we are pricing people away from it, that is probably wrong in the long term.

"Over the last decade, we have dramatically improved the size and quality of the railway ? So we have raised the game, but to some extent that has come on the back of higher fares to improve the service."

The government has a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

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