Number of dirty diesels on road still growing, report shows

Number of dirty diesels on road still growing, report shows

Three years after the Dieselgate scandal erupted number of highly polluting diesel vehicles on Europe’s roads has risen to 43 million

The number of dirty diesel vehicles pumping out toxic emissions on Europe’s streets is still rising three years after the Dieselgate scandal began, according to a new report. More than 7m such cars and vans remain on UK roads alone.

There were 29m diesel vehicles whose emissions on the road were significantly higher than official laboratory-based EU limits when the diesel scandal erupted in September 2015. But that has now risen by to 43m, according to analysis by the group Transport & Environment (T&E). France has the most dirty diesels on the road, with 8.7m, followed by Germany’s 8.2m and the UK’s 7.3m.

Related: Ban diesel cars from cities, say half of UK drivers in poll

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Train punctuality reaches 12-year low amid weather and timetable chaos

Train punctuality reaches 12-year low amid weather and timetable chaos

One in seven trains missed target of arriving within five minutes of scheduled time

The punctuality of Britain’s trains has reached a 12-year low amid disruption caused by extreme weather and timetable changes, according to “damning” statistics that emerged as the government weighs up launching a full-blown rail review.

One in seven trains missed the industry’s target of arriving within five minutes of their scheduled time – or 10 minutes on long-distance services – in the year to 18 August, according to figures from the Office of Road and Rail (ORR).

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Germany launches world's first hydrogen-powered train

Germany launches world's first hydrogen-powered train

Two trains built by the French train maker Alstom are now operating on a 62 mile stretch of line in northern Germany

Germany has rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, signalling the start of a push to challenge the might of polluting diesel trains with costlier but more eco-friendly technology.

Two bright blue Coradia iLint trains, built by French TGV-maker Alstom, on Monday began running a 62 mile (100km) route between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany – a stretch normally plied by diesel trains.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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What is Walking the City week – and how can you get involved?

What is Walking the City week – and how can you get involved?

Guardian Cities wants to hear your experiences of urban walking – good and bad. What’s your favourite route and why? What delights or frustrates you? Tell us in the form below

As cities around the world mark World Car-Free Day this weekend and next by closing their central streets to cars, at Guardian Cities we’re celebrating by taking a look at the joys (and trials) of urban walking.

First up are the joys: the US humourist and writer David Sedaris tells us about his love of walking in cities from Raleigh to Reykjavik, Will Self explains what he learns from perambulations in London, and we’ll hear from Fran Lebowitz in New York, Helen Garner in Melbourne, “natural navigator” Tristan Gooley in Portsmouth and writers on cities as different as Delhi and Newcastle, Cairo and Wellington.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Train company rows back on charge for returning lost wallets

Train company rows back on charge for returning lost wallets

Arriva Trains Wales changes policy after charging customer £2 and keeping 10% of cash inside lost wallet

A train company has reversed its policy of keeping 10% of the cash inside lost wallets when passengers reclaim them.

Arriva Trains Wales faced an online backlash after a customer expressed his dismay at the practice.

Related: Missing in London: inside TfL’s lost property office

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Richard Branson's pet peeve is lateness – perhaps he shouldn't travel by Virgin trains

Richard Branson's pet peeve is lateness – perhaps he shouldn't travel by Virgin trains

‘Very little annoys me in life, but people turning up late really does,’ tweeted the Virgin boss. His passengers – for whom one in five trains have run late in the past 12 months – have been happy to point out the irony

Name: Richard Branson’s timekeeping.

Age: Exactly as old as you think it is, to the second.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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E-bike crash death prompts debate over safety on UK roads

E-bike crash death prompts debate over safety on UK roads

Sakine Cihan was struck by a power-assisted bicycle as she was crossing a road in London

When Sakine Cihan died of injuries she sustained in a road collision last month, she was said to be the first pedestrian to be killed by an e-bike in the UK. It is feared that the growing craze for power-assisted cycling means she won’t be the last.

Cihan was crossing Kingsland High Street in Dalston, east London, when she was struck by a Specialized electric bike. The rider was arrested a day later after he came forward, and then released under investigation.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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France may stop trains and planes from UK under no-deal Brexit

France may stop trains and planes from UK under no-deal Brexit

Senior politician says France is prepared to pass emergency laws to protect citizens

Eurostar trains may stop running in the event of a chaotic no-deal Brexit, the French minister for Europan affairs has warned.

Nathalie Loiseau sounded the warning as she made clear France was against a “blindfold Brexit”, in which key negotiating issues were deferred until the UK had left the EU.

Related: Brexit worries from the Irish border – a photo essay

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Source: Guardian Transport

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Driving licences may be invalid in EU if no Brexit deal, UK warns

Driving licences may be invalid in EU if no Brexit deal, UK warns

People with passports close to expiry may also be denied entry, government papers say

UK driving licences will not be valid in the European Union if no Brexit deal is agreed, and travellers with passports close to their expiry may be denied entry into the bloc, the government has warned.

The latest batch of no-deal notices revealed there could be a wide range of impacts on the public if the UK crashed out of the EU without any kind of deal, although ministers say the warnings are intended to help people plan.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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The Guardian view on electric cars: stopped by industry inaction | Editorial

The Guardian view on electric cars: stopped by industry inaction | Editorial
Ministers must accept that the market won’t deliver technological change on its own. They will need to get the state involved to meet environmental and social objectives

The end of the internal combustion engine, which for more than a century changed the way we lived in Britain, is nigh. No one but the motor industry thinks this dirty technology ought to survive. The refusal to accept reality is exacting a high price: Britain will miss its legally binding carbon emissions targets because transport, unlike all other parts of the economy, is not doing enough to curb the growth in emissions. There’s something shameful about an industry that was caught lying about how clean and efficient its cars were now seeming reluctant to purge itself of an outmoded technology that contributes not only to climate change but is behind the deadly concentrations of pollutants responsible for 40,000 early deaths in the UK each year.

There is a way out: rapid advances in battery technology mean that electric motors could replace fuel-and-piston ones. Britons could all whizz about in electric-powered cars, which emit no toxic filth. There are still emissions associated with the extraction, production and distribution of the fuel that generates the electricity, but the thinking is that this is easier to deal with than millions of polluting vehicles. To its credit, earlier this summer Theresa May’s government produced a “Road to Zero” strategy which outlined how the UK plans to reach its goal of ending the sales of conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. Unfortunately, this cut-off date is not only five years later than that recommended by the government’s own advisers but it also stops short of a complete ban on petrol and diesel vehicles.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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