France Will Ban Short Flights That Could Be Replaced By a Train Trip

If you’re planning a reasonably short trip in France, a plane will soon no longer be an option.

The French government says that flights will be banned on any route where the trip could be made on a train in 2.5 hours or less, Fast Company reports. Flights from Paris to Lyon, for example, will no longer be allowed, since the same trip can be made in two hours on one of France’s fast trains.

The government considered banning any flight that could be replaced by a train trip of less than four hours, but under pressure from airlines the government compromised and imposed the ban on trips that could be made in 2.5 hours by train. The driving force behind the ban is France’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions, and the consumer association, UFC-Que Choisir, said that imposing the four-hour limit would have had a greater impact on emissions. The organization says that a plane trip emits an average of 77 times more CO2 per passenger than taking a train on the same route.

The Netherlands and Belgium have considered, but so far not approved, bans on short-haul flights. Austrian Airlines recently replaced its flights from Vienna to Salzburg with train service. Advocates of the flight bans say that not only does taking the train significantly reduce a traveler’s carbon footprint, but it can be cheaper and faster than a plane when factoring in the time it takes to get to the airport and stand in security lines, according to Fast Company.