February 8, 2016
Northern Ireland´s public transport company – Translink – paid out £1,948,000 bus accident compensation between April 2010 and April 2015.
Translink is the operator of the Ulsterbus, Citybus, Metro and Goldlink bus services and the NI Railway. Between April 2010 and April 2015, the provinces transport operator paid out almost £2 million in bus accident compensation to passengers and other road users who had suffered an injury or property damage due to the negligence of its drivers.
The figure of £1,948,000 bus accident compensation was released by Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen in response to an Assembly question from SDLP MLA John Dallat. Mr Dallat – who sits on the Northern Ireland regional development committee – commented that the amount of bus accident compensation was “horrendous”.
Despite Translink issuing a statement in which it said the company was committed to delivering the highest safety standards, Mr Dallat said that the board needed to implement measures that would avoid situations which led to payouts, and also review its policy on defending claims for bus accident compensation made against Translink.
News of how much bus accident compensation the company has paid out come just months after unions warned that budget cuts were having a “devastating impact” on public safety. £13m of cutbacks were made by the Department for Regional Development during the last financial year – a year in which Translink recorded the worst operating losses in its history (£8.4 million).
A Translink spokesperson said: “It is important to put some context around these figures which cover a five-year period. The level of compensation paid out is less than 0.5% of our annual revenue, and more importantly, Translink’s annual level of compensation is also amongst the lowest paid out when benchmarked against other UK operators”.
He continued by saying “We carry around 80 million passenger journeys every year and their safety is a top priority for everyone at Translink. We are committed to maintaining our high safety standards across the business and have comprehensive procedures in place to fully and thoroughly investigate all claims.”