Translink pays almost £2 million in compensation claims
TRANSLINK has paid out almost £2 million in compensation claims in the past five years.
The majority of the payments, a total of £1.65 million, were made for personal injury claims.
There was a bill of just over £300,000 for damage caused to other vehicles or properties by Ulsterbus or Metro buses.
Personal injury compensation payments have dropped sharply in the five year period, falling from a high of £567,000 in 2010/11 to £176,000 last year.
Payouts for damage caused to other vehicles or property by buses have fluctuated, ranging from a minimum £50,000 per year to £71,000.
Incidents involving Metro buses accounted for £820,000 of claims over the five year period, while compensation payments for Ulsterbus amounted to £1.13 million.
The figures were released in response to an Assembly question from SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat, who said the compensation figures represented "a lot of money that could be going into community transport".
Mr Dallat said: "The personal injuries claims have dropped significantly and that is good news and great credit to those within the company who are now challenging spurious claims that have been thrown out of court.
"Nevertheless this gravy train should never have existed and we can all be glad that it is now sidelined to a great extent.
Mr Dallat said he believed the Audit Office and Stormont's Public Accounts Committee would investigate the issue of compensation claims.
He said: "Damage to property continues to remain constant and in these times of significant cuts to Translink’s budget I would want to see a concentration on safe driving by all employees both in Metro and Ulsterbus."