BBC Taxi Bill Reported to Have Topped One Million Mark in Two Years

BBC Scotland's taxi bill is said to have added up to a million pounds during the last two years, according to the Sunday Mail newspaper.

In a story carrying an 'exclusive' tag, the paper's Stuart MacDonald reports that taxis used to “ferry staff and guests to and from studios” was £1,172,729 these last two years.

MacDonald quotes a BBC 'insider' saying the use of taxis is never questioned. The person is quoted saying: ”Taxis can be used by staff as a matter of routine. It's very different to almost any other workplace.

“These figures are shocking but they're only part of the picture. They will be the cost of contract taxis, and won't include journeys claimed on individual expenses.”

MacDonald notes the BBC introduced a centralised taxi booking system more than five years ago to cut costs. He reports that half the taxi cash went on transporting programme guests from their homes and that taxis are also used by staff on early or late shifts, and for transporting 'tapes/goods of a sensitive nature'.

A BBC spokesperson is quoted as saying: “The BBC has a rigorous expenses policy and we are commit ted to reducing costs.

“The only reason staff would get taxis to and from work is if they are working an early morning or late shift. This is for safety reasons.”

It is claimed that BBC Scotland's news and current affairs department was the biggest taxi spenders, spending £196,043 in 2008/09 and £154,985 in 2009/10 – a total of £351,028. Meanwhile, the arts and factual arm is said to have spent £163,017, with comedy and entertainment £123,040, and radio £131,070.

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