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House of Lords spending £840,000 a year on a tiny one-way system


House of Lords officials have spent almost a million pounds last year on health and safety guards a tiny one-way system inside the Palace of Westminster.

A team of traffic marshalls has been overseeing slow movements of cars, vans and pedestrians through the narrow roadways in the palace while restoration work has been going on to maintain the historic buildings.

In a House of Lords finance committee meeting in late February it was revealed that the set up, employing just nine marshals, cost £700,000 in 2023 - plus £140,000 VAT at 20 per cent for a total of £840,000. This equates to £93,000 per marshall.

This followed a separate admission by the House of Commons authorities that a marshall was being paid to stand guard over the parliamentary underground car park 24 hours a day to make sure no one drove on a ramp that was closed.

The minutes of a February meeting reported: 'The cost of the marshals used to manage the temporary one-way system, was just under £700k in 2023. When managing the one-way system there were at present six marshals on the day shift and three on the late shift...

'Following discussion of the costs and reasoning for traffic marshals on the estate the Committee agreed it was content it did not need to revisit the topic again.'