Boris Johnson criticised for taking private jet to Blackpool despite 3-hour train journey

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Boris Johnson reportedly used a private jet to travel to Blackpool on Thursday morning despite the journey taking just three hours by train.

The Prime Minister's 40-minute flight allegedly took off from London Stansted at around 10.46am on Thursday (February 3).

But the journey would also involve a two-and-a-half-hour round trip by car to the airport and back, meaning he would have left Downing Street at around 9am to make it in time.

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LBC calculated that, as a result, Boris only got to Blackpool around 50 minutes earlier than if he had been driven to London Euston - a 17-minute drive.

If he had caught the 9.10am train, he would have arrived in Blackpool at approximately 12.16pm, LBC reported.

Paul Tuohy, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, told LBC the Prime Minister's actions sent "entirely the wrong message about what sort of transport future we want".

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Boris Johnson makes pledges for Blackpool in resort visit

"This is shocking from a Prime Minister who talks the talk on tackling climate change," he added.

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Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in the Empress BallroomBoris Johnson and Michael Gove in the Empress Ballroom
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove in the Empress Ballroom

"Boris Johnson should have caught the train instead and emitted a tiny fraction of the carbon emissions.

"We will be happy to post a train timetable to 10 Downing Street if he needs a little help to travel the clean, green, responsible way."

The government has previously faced questions over its use of private jets, particularly given its commitment to the UK reaching net zero by 2050.

In November 2021, Mr Johnson was slammed for using a government plane to fly home from the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

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A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "The Prime Minister uses a variety of transport in order to conduct business safely and efficiently, including trains.

"All travel decisions are made with consideration for security and time restraints."

Boris Johnson pledged to support investment in skills and jobs in Blackpool as part of the Government's Levelling Up programme during a whistle-stop trip to the resort on Thursday.

He visited the new Winter Gardens Conference Centre and the Empress Ballroom, the tram depot at Starr Gate and Blackpool Victoria Hospital along with Levelling Up Minister Michael Gove.

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After being given a tour of the £28m new conference centre, which is due to host the Conservative Party Spring Conference in March, he branded the facilities 'stunning'.

He said: "This is the scene of many great speeches by famous prime ministers in the past from Churchill to Thatcher.

"It's great to see it in such fantastic shape. I think it's brilliant. I congratulate the Winter Gardens on its investment.

"I think it's going to pay off handsomely, and we look forward to coming back to Blackpool as fast as possible."

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