Skip to main content

Departmental Rail Travel

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues on whether members of staff may claim for travel in first class carriages on trains if there are no seats in standard class. (268547)

The Department’s staff expenses policy makes no specific provision for members of staff to travel in first class carriages on trains if there are no seats in standard class. The following extract from the staff expenses guide covers policy in this area.

“For rail travel, staff in pay band Senior Executive Officer (SEO) and above may travel first class without separate approval. Staff below SEO may travel first class with permission from their line manager for specific business need. However, all staff should consider travelling standard class unless they have a special need related to their work such as the need for concentrated work prior to a meeting or privacy afforded by more spacious accommodation in first class. Very rarely should it be necessary to travel first class on short journeys, where the journey time is 30 minutes or less.”

All staff are encouraged to book rail tickets in advance in order to reserve seats and to take advantage of any available discounted fares.