Network Rail spending on air travel

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by eisenach, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. eisenach

    eisenach Member

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    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/apr/28/network-rail-millions-flights-save-train-fares

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 May 2015
  2. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    To be honest, it makes perfect sense - why should they be obliged to take the train if it isn't the cheapest option. An argument could be made for NR making an agreement with TOCs for discounted travel for NR employees perhaps, but that is quite a lot of faffing for not necessarily a huge amount of gain.

    I suppose it is highlights the problem with cost/time efficiency on the london-scotland routes for business types when NR are flying their people up there.

    I also don't see the point of including things such as "while some of the international flights were as far afield as Japan and Australia" - I would like to see them try to take a train from the UK to Japan or Australia. Good luck once they get to the edge of the pacific ocean!
     
  3. misterredmist

    misterredmist Member

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    It's actually nice to see common sense prevail for a change
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Why does Mick Cash automatically assume that all these people travelling are the 'top brass'? Perhaps some of them are even in the RMT but still have jobs where they have to get about the country efficiently?
     
  5. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    He clearly hasn't been on a domestic flight for a long time. Biscuit and coffee is the norm, although BA still do a hot breakfast.

    An average of £150 per domestic flight is really quite reasonable. Edinburgh isn't exactly cheap for hotel accommodation.

    Most important of all is the person though. Being a regular working away from home, I value a night in my own bed.
     
  6. GatwickDepress

    GatwickDepress Established Member

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    I presume senior bus company officials travel everywhere by bus and shipping bigwigs refuse to travel between countries unless it's in a cabin of a freighter?
     
  7. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    That sounds very sensible,so why after all these years since privatisation have the unions not pushed harder for this ?
     
  8. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    But it stipulates that the FREE & PRIV travel are not to be used for duty purposes. They would have to be something similar to TOC cards that are for both but these are for free duty/leisure travel.
     
  9. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    In good old BR days there were Duty passes, sadly no more for NR staff, we even have to buy train tickets when cab riding for mandated pway inspections
     
  10. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    And if you are a FOC driver in the very unlikely event anyone asks you, you only have to produce a diagram :D
     
  11. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    I think all franchise agreements should specify free duty related and residential to and from work travel for network rail staff.its ridiculous that NR staff cannot travel on the network they help maintain and it is unnesescarily beurocratic to demand they buy tickets or have rail warrants for every work related journey they make.
     
  12. CosherB

    CosherB Established Member

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    Why do the RMT continually think it's 1975, not 2015? Time to join the modern world on this topic .....
     
  13. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Why join the modern world if it is badly organised ? It's hard to think of any more sensible arrangement than an agreement by which those who maintain the railway can travel on it for the purposes of maintaining it.
     
  14. LateThanNever

    LateThanNever Established Member

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    Quite so.
    Additionally I wonder if Network Rail cannot afford to send staff by rail then who on earth can?
    Network Rail should at least have an obligation to travel by train unless there is a good reason not too. Indeed some would say that UK bus companies are so dire because the management never use them... Surely Network Rail doesn't want to go there?
     
  15. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    I entirely agree that all rail staff should be encouraged to use rail.
    But if 96% of the spend is on rail fares, it doesn't suggest price is the only factor.
    It's one of the spinoffs of privatisation, or at least vertical separation - though I have a vague recollection of a rail manager acquaintance being permitted to use a domestic flight in BR days...
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  16. DelayRepay

    DelayRepay Member

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    Isn't another mode of transport being cheaper a good reason?

    I sometimes have to go to Glasgow (from London) for work and I usually fly. Why should I spend my personal time travelling and staying overnight, when I can fly up in the morning and fly back in the evening (usually with an overnight stay in between)?
     
  17. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    My god we will have none of that bolshie talk here my good man. How dare you suggest such a thing! Think of the lost profits dear boy! God forbid they might allow priv travel to the poor sods who shovel crap in the wet and the dark so the snazzy trains can run :o

    The RMT and TSSA have been pushing for such an arrangement for some time and even NR are now trying to do a deal on travel but it seems ATOC are being less than helpful
     
  18. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    And if that good reason is that it's quicker, cheaper and easier to fly?

    Although I haven't flown for a while (for NR) ALL of my flights were to/from Scotland, and most of them were with easyjet to/from Luton for 0900 meetings in Glasgow. The only other way to do that is night before and hotel (much more expensive) or sleeper, and frankly I have never slept well on a sleeper, to the extent that I feel awful the next day.

    So when it is cheaper, much quicker, and better for my well being to fly, I will fly!
     
  19. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    All a fuss about nothing.

    The issue is not the cost of the train travel, the issue is the cost of the additionals. If you take the plane you can be there and back in a day, often pretty much within the usual working day. If you take the train, it's a bit more hit and miss. For an early meeting in Scotland you'd have to travel the day before, which means a hotel stay plus subsistence, and the staff would have to be compensated (probably through TOIL) for the extra time worked.

    When I worked in Newcastle I flew to meetings in Brighton. The plane and the train fares were about the same, but my employer got to save six hours TOIL, a night in a hotel and the cost of my subsistence whilst away.
     
  20. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    Well, if they made it free/cheaper for NR staff to travel by train they could say if you want a fly - you pay for it. Quite simple really. No obligation to use the train, but I think most would.
     
  21. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    You've failed to understand the requirement that staff from London need to be in Glasgow from 9am for meetings. Simply not possible by train. Far cheaper to pay an extra £100 to fly a member of staff, than pay for an additional hotel night and an extra day of that members time spent away from their main office.
     
  22. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    So in the case of an Edinburgh meeting, if those travelling on company business availed themselves of free rail travel, there is still the cost of accommodation to be met and possible the additional hours travelling.
    I'm all for using rail for domestic travel, but there are many cases where business requirements make it impractical (at least until HS2 is there) and it is encumbent of any organisation to keep costs under control, which includes non-productive hours. Note: saying that work can be done on a train is not necessarily a justification to rail use, but is often used as an excuse.
     
  23. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    Really? We were always instructed to allow NR staff access to the train for operational reasons - I know of a guard who got his knuckles rapped for trying to charge a MOM to travel out to some kind of issue somewhere.
     
  24. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    All our MOMs etc are issued duty passes for this exact reason!
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    You would think an organisation like Network Rail would be sensible enough to realise that 0900 meetings for staff travelling from afar are ridiculous. I don't see why so many businesses persist with them.

    Have it at 1100 and you could easily get there by train from MK without any need to mess with Sleepers.
     
  26. Fishplate84

    Fishplate84 Member

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    A couple of things spring to mind. £1.3m is not a lot of money. If Mick Cash thinks this is better spent improving the wages, I'm sure RMT members will be grateful for the extra couple of quid a year salary increase it'll cover.

    Has the RMT ever flown Ryanair or Easyjet? Travelling by train by comparison is the more expensive, indulgent 'lap of luxury'. The sort of dumb union clap trap that reinforces how out of touch they are.

    Is the RMT seriously arguing that NR should not be looking for the most cost efficient means of doing business? ORR, the government, taxpayers and all fare paying customers of the railway, even the unions are demanding that the railways are run efficiently.

    Why should NR staff travel for free? Do Highway Agency staff get reduced road tax or cheap travel on busses? Do airport workers get discounted flights? Does any other company, apart from TOC's own staff, get cheap rail travel?? A huge proportion of people have to travel for business, NR is far from unique in this requirement. We all have to contribute as fare paying passengers.

    It does strengthen the argument for an early / fast London Scotland connection like HS2/3 and if a railway solution is politically needed there is an overnight sleeper service that overcomes the main reason NR set out for flying.
     
  27. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    On the contrary, I would have thought that for a transport mode, a key component of establishing a "cost effective and efficient means of doing business" would be an arrangement whereby the cost of travel for those undertaking the vital business of maintaining that mode of transport, would be absorbed within that mode of transport wherever possible.
     
  28. quarella

    quarella Member

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    I have no issue with an organisation using whatever method is most cost effective for their business at the time in the same way I decide what transport mode I use for a journey. My issue, which is the same for all businesses is one of "Is your journey really necessary?" There seem to be meetings about meetings dragging up to ten people across many miles to do something 2 people could have done on the phone.
     
  29. LeeLivery

    LeeLivery Member

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    It is possible if you caught the Cal Sleeper. In this scenario if people could not fly, NR - a transport organisation should understand not being able to reach places afar at 9am because of their own night shut downs!
     
  30. quarella

    quarella Member

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    Before we get bogged down in anything about a free and priv rate travel please note that they are for leisure use only. Individual TOCs and associated TOCs within a TOC may permit business travel on their own services but beyond that a ticket is required for travel with the TOC looking for the most cost effective way which may be by air.

    Under BR while operational staff and certain senior managers would have passes over an area relevant to their job warrants would be issued to those of us who were office bound to purchase tickets.
     
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