Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Huge accident bill for Translink

Metro bus

Translink buses have been involved in 7,192 accidents in the past five years, it has been revealed in the assembly.

This has resulted in the company paying 1,540,877 in compensation to injured parties.

The majority of incidents (6,966) involved collisions with other vehicles, 226 involved pedestrians.

A company spokesperson said most of the incidents related to minor accidents and bus travel was recognised as seven times safer than the private car.

The information was released by Transport Minister Conor Murphy in response to an assembly question from the SDLP's Thomas Burns.

Mr Burns, who is an MLA for South Antrim, described the figures as "shocking".

Our bus fleet travels over 40 million miles per year, and most of these incidents relate to minor road traffic incidents
Translink spokesperson

"It is very disturbing to think that, on average, over 1,400 accidents are occurring per year - that must work out at around four a day," he said.

"I fully understand that Translink have a lot of buses on the roads on a daily basis and that accidents do happen, but these figures seem unusually high.

"I urge the minister to get these numbers down by investing in his staff and introducing better training for the drivers."

A Translink spokesperson said safety was a top priority for the company and all its drivers were trained to the "highest level of professional competence".

"It is important to put these statistics into perspective. Our bus fleet travels over 40 million miles per year, and most of these incidents relate to minor road traffic incidents," the spokesperson said.

"Bus travel is recognised as seven times safer than the private car. We are amongst the top performing bus companies in the UK in terms of safety."



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