Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Roads Service staff clock up huge expenses bill

Employees of NI Roads Service have claimed nearly £13 million in travel expenses over the last five years.

The SDLP's John Dallat obtained the £12,952,784 figure in an Assembly question and claimed the amount would shock anyone currently battling through icy conditions.

But while it is understood the expenses relate in large part to staff's daily work travelling to inspect and plan road projects, the East Derry MLA said he was surprised at the sum.

Mr Dallat said Conor Murphy's Department of Regional Development had to pay the expenses, which the SDLP representative said in the last year alone totalled £2,515,532.

"These shocking figures do not include mileage claims for overtime as I was told that the cost of providing this would be at disproportionate cost," he said.

Mr Dallat said the figures he obtained through the Assembly revealed:

  • £9 million was paid for the servicing and maintenance of Road Service vehicles;
  • The West region clocked-up £1,862,943.02;
  • The South £ 1,666,267.49;
  • The North £1,649,474.76;
  • The East £1,347,737.95;
  • Roads Service Consultancy (RSC) £3,423,603.81;
  • Roads Service Direct (RSD) £2,009,776.29;
  • Transport and Engineering Policy Unit £505,749.93;
  • Headquarters £523,231.54

Mr Dallat said: "The figures exclude all claims for industrial staff, which were moved from the Department to HR Connect in 2009/10 and are no longer easily identifiable. The real figure is therefore likely to be considerably higher than the one mentioned in response to my question.

"There is a serious need to monitor closely travel costs within Roads Service to eliminate any unnecessary travel and I am sure I will find a lot of support for this, particularly from the thousands of people who are currently struggling to keep their feet on footpaths that have not been gritted."

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