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Green Travel App and European Rail

The Green Traveller Digest

Welcome to my latest round up of news about green travel. This newsletter is written by me, Richard Hammond, the founder of Green Traveller. If you'd like to receive the newsletter by email, please subscribe here.

Opinion Piece

Post-Brexit rules detain us on the borders of Europe's rail renaissance I've written an opinion piece in the i Paper on how the failure to adequately prepare for new post-Brexit checks is limiting our access to more sustainable travel options just at a time when Europe's rail network is growing.

Green Travel News EU announces plan to support 10 cross-border rail projects The European Commission has announced it will support 10 pilot projects to "improve cross-border rail connections across the EU, making them faster, more frequent and more affordable". The projects include new services connecting Hungary, Austria and western Romania; Midnight Trains' new overnight sleeper service Paris via Milan to Venice; and European Sleeper's new night train service from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and new services connecting Madrid with Lisbon and Catalonia with the South of France.

sunsetting in background of a train on railway tracks
Photo: loskutnikov/Shutterstock

New travel app launched to reward travellers for using sustainable transport A new travel app has launched to reward people with money-saving vouchers for using public transport. The free-to-use app, called Sojo, has been created by Swiss company, Axon Vibe, in partnership with UK-based Raileasy. Purchasing a ticket through the app triggers vouchers from retail partners providing offers such as a free coffees, pastries, or clothing and leisure deals. George Sikking, Chief Executive of Raileasy, said: "With 92% of Brits thinking about how they can save money and 75% concerned about climate change, we just knew that there was a marketplace for something which would tackle both. Sojo is an absolute win-win, rewarding people financially for saving the earth's natural resources. We think that the climate conscious people of Great Britain will love it". Jeremy Acklam, managing director of Axon Vibe, has given an interview to Railway Technology's Jasleen Mann about the development of the app and its future deployment in other countries.

Wilderness England launches new sailing holidays Specialist operator Wilderness England has introduced two new sailing holidays for 2023. Sailing aboard the Eda Frandsen, a 75-year-old cutter, guests will get a fresh perspective of the coastline of England, gliding into secluded bays along the coast of Cornwall or further afield along the west coast of the UK, with options to stop at the Isle of Man, Ireland and the southern Hebrides. Set up following the pandemic, Wilderness England is a sister company to the award-winning Wilderness Scotland and Wilderness Ireland. Each Wilderness holiday has an exact carbon score, so that guests can make informed decisions about the impact of their holiday.

Hertz and Uber to bring up to 25,000 electric vehicles to European Capitals Hertz and Uber have announced a European expansion to their North American partnership through which Hertz will make up to 25,000 electric vehicles (EVs) available to Uber drivers in European capital cities by 2025 – starting in London with the aim to expand to Paris and Amsterdam. In a joint statement released by the two companies, it said "a wide range of suitable EVs will be on offer, including vehicles from Tesla and Polestar". Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, said: “Climate change is the most urgent global challenge which we must all tackle together – now is the time to accelerate. Expanding our partnership with Hertz into Europe will significantly boost our transition to zero-emissions, helping drivers reduce running costs and cleaning up urban transport. We aim to become a 100% electric platform across Europe by 2030.”

Airline passengers face potentially higher fares under new EU emissions rules Airline passengers face potentially higher fares under new EU emissions rules as Brussels makes the industry pay more for pollution, report Alice Hancock, Philip Georgiadis & Camilla Hodgson in the Financial Times.

The Swedish tech startup that's helping cities go green. Jon Henley writes in The Guardian about an online tool used by more than 50 cities that is helping planners weigh costs against climate and social benefits

This week Good news for: Green Education in France University courses in France are to be adapted to include instruction on climate change under a new government plan, reports Charles Bremner in The Times. Information about the "ecological transition" will be taught in every degree, from history and philosophy to engineering and botany.

Bad news for: Snow in the Alps Joe Goodman reports for Carbon Brief that the duration of snow cover in the Alps "is now 36 days shorter than the long-term average" – an “unprecedented” decline over the past 600 years – according to recent research published in Nature Climate Change. The study used ring-width records from juniper shrubs to assess snow cover duration in the Alps over the past six centuries. Joe reports that "The findings are significant for the millions of people who depend on meltwater from the Alps snowpack every year for “agricultural, industrial and domestic purposes”, as well as “winter tourism and related recreation activities”, Goodman reports. See also: Eco-activists vandalise snow machines in French Alps

My Tip of the Week

To offset or not to offset? "Carbon offsets can help achieve emissions goals, some experts argue, while others say they are actively dangerous". The Guardian has published a series of articles by Fiona Harvey and Patrick Greenfield that consider the effectiveness of carbon offsetting.

News from Green Traveller Green Traveller's Guide to Formentera, Spain

We've published a green travel guide to the beautiful island of Formentera.

The southernmost and smallest inhabited island of the Balearics, Formentera is just 30-minutes by ferry from Ibiza but feels light years away. The entire northern part of the island is a nature reserve, while the south is a mix of juniper and pine forests fringed by sand dunes; beyond the island's white-sand coast, underwater meadows of the seagrass plant Posidonia Oceanica help maintain crystal clear turquoise waters. A network of 32 signposted walking and cycling trails criss-cross the island's mostly gentle terrain and there are some wonderful places to sample the local cuisine, from lounge bars and seafood cafes to inland wineries and cutting-edge vegetarian restaurants.

man and woman cycling along raised platform with sea in background
A network of 32 signposted walking and cycling trails criss-cross Formentera. Photo: goodluz/Shutterstock

How to travel overland from the UK to Formentera

Formentera doesn't have an airport, so the only way to reach it is by boat. From mainland Spain, there are direct ferries to Formentera from Barcelona and Denia, or you can take a ferry from Barcelona, Valencia or Denia to Ibiza from where you catch the 30-minute inter-island ferry to Formentera. The first leaves at 7am and the last at 8.30pm.

ferry crossing sea
Balearia runs ferries from the Spanish mainland to Ibiza and Formentera. Photo: Direct Ferries


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