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Industrial action 1-9 December
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The world is having to rapidly develop new ways to help the environment survive, and modal shifting is becoming more important, both in terms of contributing to sustainability and encouraging economic recovery. 

What is it?

Modal shifting is essentially shifting from one mode to another. In this case, it means to shift road, water and air transportation to the greener and more economic option of rail.

Why is important?

The rail industry is pushing the UK Government to back the move from carbon-heavy freight options of road, water and air to more sustainable rail transport if it wants to achieve a greener economic recovery. 

The transport industry was responsible for 28% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 - a fall of only 3% since the Government’s initial commitment to a decarbonised UK in 1990. The Climate Change Act in 2008 defined those commitments as a reduction of carbon emissions by 80%, to be achieved by 2050. 

With rail transport emitting just a quarter of the CO2 of road freight for the equivalent journey, it makes sense to eliminate road and air transport as much as possible. Find out more about sustainable public transport

Why not compare your train vs car journey with our Cost, Time and Carbon Footprint Calculator? It can help you to make informed choices about your travel and compare your train journey to the same journey via car to see how you can save pennies, time and reduce your carbon footprint. All helping to support your shift from one mode to another.

How can modal shift be cost-effective?

Due in part to its capabilities for mass transit, rail dramatically reduces the cost to transport freight by road, water or air. With the rapidly rising prices of fuel, rail transport eliminates the manufacturers’ fuel reliance in order to transport their goods. 

How can it change the way we travel?

Modal shifting pushes us to think about the way we travel and the impact our choices have on the environment, the economy and our own wellbeing. For motorists, a result of the modal shift could lead to a re-evaluation of their commitment to future generations, and encourage a change of habit - walk to the station, take the train and leave the car at home (or not even have a car!) Passengers can even bring their bikes on the train.

Find out more about taking your bike on a Northern train

Better for the driver, better for their pocket and better for the environment. 

Discover methods of modal shift transport

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A Better Way To Go

Working together with customers and communities, Northern is committed to transforming train travel in the North. Whilst you've been away, we've been working on a series of new projects and upgrades right across our network. We’re excited for you to ...

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Northern have a commitment to our passengers and the environment to create a highly sustainable transport network that benefits everyone, and this can be achieved with the modal shift. It holds the key to the future.

With the emphasis on reducing our carbon footprint, the modal shift pushes us to change our habits, and acknowledge that our old patterns of behaviour are not infinitely sustainable. 

Jumping in the car instead of walking, cycling or catching the train is ultimately unhealthy for us, our budgets and the environment. 

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