The decision by businesses to scale back on first class travel during the recession has made a huge dent in worker’s productivity according to new research.

According to a survey of 1,000 passengers by CrossCountry trains, 38 per cent of West Midlands business travellers revealed their employers had stopped their first class travel with a similar number revealing that they were inclined not to work if their business booked them a standard fare – some even opting to use a pool car.

Stuart Henry, external relations manager at CrossCountry said: “The average extra cost of a First Class journey of 1.5 hours is only £39, set this against the cost of having a professional losing £225 of billable time per journey and the cost benefits are clear.

“Typically, a lawyer travelling from Manchester to Birmingham would have 1.5 working hours in a relaxed, spacious environment with access to power, a table and refreshments. The cuts businesses have made mean they are now travelling in Standard, which our research has shown to be less productive for professionals on tight, demanding schedules.”