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Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on the class of travel which staff in her Department are entitled to claim as an expense. (209047)

All business travel by staff of the Department for Transport and its agencies is undertaken in compliance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code. Staff are required to use the most cost effective means of travel appropriate to each journey.

The Department and five of its agencies allow first class rail travel where necessary for senior grades (typically SEO equivalent and above). All others must use standard class except when necessarily accompanying senior colleagues, or where use of the higher class is unavoidable. Air travel is restricted to economy class or equivalent for flights up to 2.5 hours duration, and to business class or equivalent for longer flights.

Two agencies operate variations on this policy. VGA stipulate that staff must always travel by the most cost effective manner, and VOSA require standard or economy class to be used for all journeys unless there are unavoidable reasons to upgrade.