BBC staff spend thousands on first class rail travel as millions lose free TV licenses

BBC staff have spent thousands of pounds on first-class London to Manchester rail travel – as millions lose out on free TV licences.

Bosses spent more than £12,865 on the best seats to where shows including Breakfast and Match of the Day are filmed.

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BBC staff have spent thousands on first class rail fares[/caption]

Costs for the plush travel surroundings were disclosed to The Sun on Sunday and cover the financial year 2019-20.

The BBC have now stamped out any worker claiming the first-class travel option since new rules were drawn up in October last year.

The corporation have their MediaCity site in nearby Salford which is also used for Children’s BBC, Radio 5 Live and regional programming.

The revelation comes as the over-75s have started paying the £157.50 licence free with only those claiming Pension Credit getting an exemption.

James Roberts, political director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Licence fee payers should not be funding fancy first class travel at the Beeb.

“Offices around the country are no excuse for top tier train tickets that allow BBC bureaucrats to travel in luxury, and banning these practices was long overdue.

“Value for money is always important, like remote working and virtual meetings as the cheapest alternative to travel.”

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen: “It appears BBC workers have little in common with those the licence fee and they certainly don’t want to travel with them.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “As a national broadcaster with a significant presence around the UK, travel between our sites is often unavoidable – but we have strict rules in place and always seek the best value for money where possible.

“We changed these rules in October 2019 and first class rail travel is no longer permitted.”

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Over 75s are again being charged for expensive TV licences[/caption]

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