As the London mayoral race heats up, Sadiq Khan has gone on the offensive when it comes to the cost of public transport under the Tories. The Labour candidate -- who promises a four-year fares freeze if elected -- says that when it comes to value for money, things have got so bad that a luxury transatlantic Virgin flight from London to New York now works out more cost effective than a short trip from South Kensington to Heathrow on the Piccadilly line. While the flight comes to 32p a mile, the tube journey is more, at 42p a mile.
So, with Khan focussed on making sure members of the public don't have to pay sky-high prices for transport, Mr S thought it wise to check whether Khan practises what he preaches. How do Khan's taxpayer-funded jaunts from his time in government fare under his new test for value for money?
Alas, it seems that he hasn't always been so focussed on low-cost travel. Back in 2009 when Khan was Minister of State for Transport, he travelled to Luxembourg for the day for an EU Transport Minister’s meeting. For this, he claimed £1,183 in travel expenses to and from the meeting -- even though return flights can easily be purchased for around £240.
So, where does this rank when it comes to value for money? London is 303 miles from Luxembourg so a return trip would make 606 miles. That means that Khan's travel appears to have come to a costly £1.95 per mile which is over five times the amount per mile of an 'upper class' flight to New York or a trip from South Ken to Heathrow by tube.
Could it be the case that Khan is less fussed about his own low-cost travel when the bill is being footed by the taxpayer?