Network Rail bosses travel by plane... because it is cheaper than trains

28 April 2015

Network Rail 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?

TOPICS:   Travel

9 comments

  • Dave
    Poor poor article, the main points in order - The government make NWR staff travel via cheapest possible method. NWR do not set or have any control over fares, this is the train operations companies. Network rail do not run our trains, they maintain the track. Discounted staff ticketed can only be used for social purposes, not work travel or commuting. The penalty for breaching this rule is dismissal. Very shoddy, inaccurate and biased post.
  • wobbly j.
    This was reported last year, but the discount is only for season tickets, not business travel, which is often not planned and no special discounts. Flights for long distances e.g. London to Glasgow are also much quicker
  • marvinfrew
    Poor reporting. Network Rail staff only get 75% discount for Residential (to/from work(usually less than 10 miles)) and leisure purposes. They pay full rates for "business" travel on trains. Do some more research.
  • Anon
    Network Rail do not run any trains - they own the track. The season ticket discount you quote is for tickets travelling to your normal place of work, it can't be used for travel to meetings.
  • Raggedy
    Hey BW, from the comments above, it looks like you need to moderate your own articles!! Just like this one is going to be . . .
  • marvinfrew
    I'm just surprised they published my comments.
  • Father J.
    It's all clickbait anyway, so it doesn't matter that the articles are often bollocks.
  • Raggedy
    So they can publish something like this (and not even apologise for making it up) and yet insist on moderating every single one of my comments? How can I stop posting something offensive/derogatory/libelous/truthful (delete as applicable) if I don't know what it was? Sort it out BW and I'll send you another trolley photo. :-)
  • Patrick
    I don't bother commenting on BW articles any more due to their bizarre comment moderation policy. Poorly written articles like this one make me wonder whether the writers are under pressure to produce more content and are forced to make up stories in order to pump out more content.

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