Where I Live
A-Z Index
Front Page | In-depth | UK
The Royal Accounds - 2002
Introduction Head of State Civil list Travel Palaces

Summary of travel spending

The royal travel grant-in-aid is the annual funding provided by the Department for Transport to meet the cost of official royal travel by air and rail.

For the year ending 31 March 2002, the grant was £6m, but only £4.9m was spent.

Over all, spending was down on the previous year by £0.5m, mainly due to a revision of charges in using 32 Squadron aircraft.

Air travel takes up the most money, with helicopters the single most expensive form of transport at £1.96m.

The amount spent on chartered civil aircraft more than doubled, due to major tours such as Jubilee visits to Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia.

Spending has increased
Spending has decreased

Method of travel 2000-01 2001-02
Helicopters £2.002m £1.961m
Fixed wing 32 Squadron £1.793 £459,000
Fixed wing civil aircraft £655,000 £1.483m
Royal Train/other rail £620,000 £703,000
Administration £298,000 £330,000
Total £5.368m £4.936m

Air Travel

The Queen had 2,600 official engagements across the UK and overseas in the past year. Of these, 418 of the journeys cost £500 or more.

The number of hours that the Queen spent in helicopters reduced from 491 to 463, partly due to postponed engagements during the foot and mouth crisis.

Those flying hours comprised 323 hours in the Queen’s helicopter, followed by charter helicopters at 128 hours and 123 hours in Northern Ireland.

There was more use of 32 Squadron aircraft - up to 389 hours from 291 the year before.

Some 195 hours were spent on civil aircraft, up from 127 hours the year before.

Method of travel Hours in the air
  2000-01 2001-02
Helicopters 491 463
Fixed wing civil aircraft 127 195
32 Squadron aircraft 291 389

Rail travel

Use of the Royal Train was reduced slightly from 17 to 15 journeys, but the average distance increased from 550 miles to 792 miles.

The cost of the Royal Train has fallen over the years - down 64% in five years. This is due to it having fewer coaches, down from 14 to 9, reviews of costs and less use.

Three surplus coaches were used for spare parts and two were sold for £236,000 for the Department for Transport. The Jubilee Tour of the United Kingdom is mostly conducted by Royal Train.

The royal train 2000-01 2001-02
Use of network £72,000 £76,000
Planning, crews £68,000 £81,000
Coach maintenance £81,000 £85,000
Fuel etc £55,000 £63,000
Catering £8,000 £10,000
Fixed costs £312,000 £360,000
Total £596,000 £675,000

Other costs

An analysis of the costs of individual journeys reveals a mixed bag of costs. One two-day trip by the Prince of Wales to Cornwall on board the train cost £25,829.

The cost of flying staff ahead of the Queen prior to her state visit to Oslo in June last year was £577. The cost of the Queen's own return flight was £36,400.

The most expensive travel was the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's tour of Jamaica, Australia and New Zealand in February this year which cost more than £300,000.

As for targets for saving money, the Royal Train failed to meet its target and cost the taxpayer an average of £52 per mile travelled.

Travel expenses: Some Highlights
Passenger Type Destination Cost
Princess Royal Air Central America £136,000
Prince of Wales Air Aberdeen-Coventry £16,650
Duke of York Air Far East £130,000
Prince of Wales Train Cornwall £25,800
The Queen Air Norway £36,400
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh Air Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia £304,000
Mileage costs Target Actual
Air travel £22 £12
Rail travel £47 £52
^^ Back to Top
 © MMV | News Sources | Privacy