Network Rail bosses travel by plane... because it is cheaper than trains
In the past two years, Network Rail has spent £1.3million on domestic flights for its staff. That might not seem like such a big deal, but consider this - the company has pledged to always travel by the cheapest means possible.
So, given that Network Rail run our tracks, you'd hope that they might see something wrong with the fact that it is more expensive to travel by train than plane.
This data was found after a Freedom of Information request, which showed that Network Rail sends its employees on 12 domestic flights every day. If staff need to travel abroad, then fine, but this shows a huge lack of confidence in their own services.
A spokesman said that the company travels by air because it is cheaper than riding the rails. They were pained to point out the amount of rail travel they pay for too: "Network Rail's 35,000 people have to pay the going rate for all travel, be it air, rail or car. Our people are also obliged to use the cheapest method available, sometimes that means by air - around £650,000 last year - but mostly we travel by rail - almost £16million last year."
Naturally, we thought we'd check to see if Network Rail staff get discounted rail travel and, hey presto! THEY DO! On the 'employee benefits' section of their site, it says that staff can "claim subsidies of up to 75% on rail and Underground season tickets". So if travelling by air is cheaper than someone with a cheap ticket, then something is very wrong.
Of course, the main bugbear here is that train tickets are rising too high, too frequently. Some have risen by 30% in 5 years. Network Rail have also overseen numerous engineering works which have cocked-up and left the lines in chaos. If Network Rail won't travel from London to Scotland by train, why should they expect anyone else to use their shitty service?