This time around they've gone a little further, with Andrew Adonis saying that he would like to see short-haul flying to Europe replaced by rail travel instead.
"I would like to see short-haul aviation – not just domestic aviation, but short-haul aviation – progressively replaced by rail, including high-speed rail," Adonis said. "If we want to see [this] progressive replacement … then we have got to have a high-speed rail system that links our major conurbations and makes them far more accessible to Europe, too."Errr reality check moment. Who in their right mind would want to take a train to some European destination even if it was high-speed? The splendid gents on Top Gear have already shown numerous times that it's quicker to drive a car than catch a train. That puts train third after cars with commercial flights in first.
Let's take an example though. I can do, door to door, to Andalusia in 5.5 hours for £50 return (I could do it quicker if I didn't check in a bag and paid £3 for the priority security route at Luton). There is no way that a train can get me there that cheap or that fast, even if it was doing a constant 250mph and the train picked me up from my door and dropped me off outside my destination.
Do Transport ministers live on another planet to the rest of us?