Cabinet Office: Travel

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much his Department has spent on (a) taxis, (b) first class train tickets and (c) business class air travel in each of the last four years.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Minister of State (Cabinet Office)

Before travel is booked members of staff are asked to consider whether video conferencing, Google Hangouts or meeting rooms with telephone conferencing facilities could negate the need to travel.

The CO travel provider ensures that our travel policy is embedded within their booking processes to ensure compliance is maximised.

Following a search of our paper and electronic records, I have established that the following information is held for Cabinet Office corporate travel contracts (travel data outside of the travel corporate contracts is not readily available and could only be acquired at a disproportionate cost).

a) Taxis

The guidance for using a taxi for official travel allows for the use of a taxi when:

  • you are outside of normal working hours (before 6am and after 9pm)
  • no other suitable method of public transport is available, and
  • travel by private vehicle or self-drive hire car is not possible and/or is not cost effective, and either:
  • you are transporting heavy luggage or official business equipment, or the saving of official time is important and can be justified on cost grounds.

This guidance is embedded in the supplier booking process.

Taxi costs

2013-2014 £78,955.13

2014-2015 £89,988.76

2015-2016 £87,981.44

2016-2017 £92,348.78

b) First class train tickets

The Cabinet Office policy is that all rail journeys should be Standard Class. First Class is only permitted if they are cheaper than Standard Class tickets

First class train ticket costs

2013-2014 £40,937.17

2014-2015 £45,252.20

2015-2016 £37,084.95

2016-2017 £30,912.25

c) Business class air travel

The Cabinet Office policy is that for flights less than 5 hours, all journeys should be Economy Class. For flights more than 5 hours, Economy Premium is permitted.

Business class air travel costs

2013-2014 £941,171.11

2014-2015 £832,884.99

2015-2016 £479,220.07

2016-2017 £474,427.33

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