Personal Injury Claims Settled by Northern Ireland’s Leading Public Transport Provider Hits £1.6 Million
Related: Bus and coach accident injury claims
Northern Ireland’s integrated bus and rail public transport company, Translink has recently confirmed that it’s paid out almost £2 million in compensation to victims of accidents found to be caused by its fleet of buses.
A figure purported to be in the region of £1.6 million was settled with members of the public who had filed claims against the transport operator, whilst a further £300,000 had been set aside for correcting damage sustained by Translink’s vehicles as a result of incidents.
Taking into account claim episodes which have accrued over the past 5 years, the statistics were revealed by Regional Development Minister, Michelle McIlveen, and have made the headlines merely weeks after a leading union urged the Irish government to rethink aspects of its budget cuts, which in their estimation were creating a devastating impact on Translink’s public safety record of late.
Despite Translink reiterating that it was fully committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety at all time, nevertheless personal injury claims contributed to the largest proportion of the compensation cake, totalling £1,647,000 according to the published material; and statistics which were called for in the aftermath of questions raised in the Irish Assembly.
It emerged that altogether settlements of £1,948,000 were honoured by Translink in response to claims brought against the travel operator between April 2010 and April 2015, revelations which Stormont’s regional development committee member (and instigator of the information being released in the first instance), John Dallat subsequently described as; “horrendous”.
Bus accidents provide backdrop to nearly £2 million compensation claims made against Translink
Covering claims pursued by members of the public having had grievances with Ulsterbus, Citybus and Metro vehicles, Dallat insisted that; “The board (at Translink) would need to review its policy on defending claims and strategy for avoiding situations which lead to payouts.”
Unsurprisingly such figures have played an integral role in Translink recording a trading loss of £8.4 million last year on the back of meeting personal injury claim demands, which amounts to the worst in its history. Yet in the operator’s defence it also had to shoulder its share of £13 million worth of Department for Regional Development cutbacks which had taken effect the previous financial year.
Countering the perceived bad press which could follow such information reaching the public domain, a Translink spokesperson was keen to point out that a degree of context needed to be put on this news, not least in respect of them covering a 5-year passage of time.
Speaking on the subject the spokesperson stressed; “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.”
Continuing to play down any fundamental problems within the businesses approach to passenger safety, Translink went on to add; “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.”