Travel: Something To Declare

This is a good idea

The Bristol Electric Railbus can claim to be the UK's most environmentally friendly public transport system. It runs for half a mile, on a track linking the Prince Street Bridge to the SS Great Britain, but this lightweight tram could be the shape of city transport to come.

The railbus carries up to 30 passengers. It gives off no emissions and uses one-third of the energy of a bus and 10 per cent of that of a car. The track requires no excavation work, as the tracks are only laid to a depth of 15cm in the road. It also runs on renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity, wind, and landfill gas.

Is this a good idea?

In travel journalism, a profession not noted for sobriety, stories still circulate about the legendary maiden flight on Virgin Atlantic. On 22 June 1984, a Boeing 747 took off from Gatwick, destination Newark, New Jersey. And the press drank the plane dry.

The foregoing may interest passengers booked on the first Virgin Atlantic flight to the Caribbean. Richard Branson has sent a pink flip-flop to travel journalists, inviting them for an island-hop (there's only one flip-flop) to mark the launch of his airline's services to Antigua, Barbados and St Lucia.

The scribes fly out to St Lucia on 27 September.