THOUSANDS of British tourists could face far longer journeys to the sun under an EU proposal to replace short-haul flights with fast-track rail journeys.
The EU plan would see European-wide flights phased out to cut carbon dioxide emissions from transport by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.
The plans could have a dramatic effect on the number of sun-seekers flocking to the Costa del Sol each year.
Flights from London to Malaga take under three hours, while the current equivalent journey by train takes up to 20 hours, and includes stops in Paris and Madrid.
But EU transport commissioner, Siim Kallas, insists that fast track railway (AVE) would cut this journey time dramatically.
As the Olive Press reported last year, a plan could see the AVE trains taking passengers from London to Malaga in just ten hours by next year.
The current journey time has already been drastically reduced with a new spur around Madrid allowing trains to go from Malaga direct to Barcelona in only five hours and 43 minutes.
Meanwhile trains from Malaga to Paris can take just 13 hours, with a stopoff in Barcelona.
Kallas, who is also planning to ban diesel and petrol cars in cities by 2050, praised the AVE route between Madrid and Barcelona, which now takes 50 per cent of all passengers between the two cities.