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In the papers - Friday 11 April 2008

Britain is witnessing the dawn of a new era of rail travel as an unprecedented demand for environmentally friendly transport encourages people to take more train journeys than at any time since the Second World War. . .

Figures released yesterday revealed that the numbers of miles travelled on the rail network reached a record-breaking peacetime high of 30.1 billion during 2007, capping a huge rise in popularity in which passenger numbers have increased every year for the past 13 year - The Independent

Barcelona is to take the unprecedented step of importing water by ship to prevent a water crisis prompted by extreme drought. The emergency measure, to start next month, indicates dramatically how climate change has affected one of Europe's most developed cities - a metropolis known for its efficient infrastructure - The Independent

The Bank of England's quarter-point interest rate cut will do little to help revive Britain's commercial property markets, experts said. Property agent Savills said activity in the UK commercial property market tumbled 16pc last month as economic growth slows and the credit crunch makes money more expensive to borrow - The Daily Telegraph

Workers at the collapsed London Underground contractor Metronet have voted to go on strike in a row over staff transfers, pensions and travel facilities. The Rail Maritime and Transport union said 751 of its members had backed industrial action, with 171 against - The Financial Times

The European Union faced calls to abandon plans to increase biofuel use from its own scientific advisers yesterday. The scientific committee of the European Environment Agency said a target of having 10 per cent of transport fuel derived from plants by 2020 could deprive millions of people of food and damage the environment - The Financial Times

More than a thousand miles of high-speed railway line and new rail tunnels under the Irish Sea and the English Channel will be needed to cope with the continuing rapid growth in rail travel, according to the industry's vision for the future network. Three new 200mph lines would fan out from London, halving journey times to all the big regional cities and to Scotland - The Times

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