Abus Ltd receives formal warning

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Independent bus operator Abus Ltd, which runs local services around Bristol, Bath and the West Country, has had received a formal warning from Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, Kevin Rooney.

The firm’s licence, for 25 vehicles, was originally granted in 2010. Four years later, in March 2014, a maintenance investigation concluded that the company’s practices were ‘unsatisfactory,’ leading to educational and appraisal undertakings being attached to its licence.

In May 2018, a further maintenance investigation uncovered similar deficiencies with maintenance and inspections which had been present back in 2014.

The vehicle examiner also relayed concerns over the connection between Abus Ltd and L C Munden & Sons Ltd, reporting that the two firms were co-located, that the vehicles were owned and maintained by Mundens and that the drivers were employed by Mundens.

As a consequence of these findings, Abus Ltd was called to public enquiry by the TC.

“This is the first time I have come across such a relationship in a PSV operation,” explained the TC in his written decision.

“It is clear from the operator’s own evidence that the lines at times become blurred between the two businesses.

“In reality, it runs as a single entity with all parties working together to deliver the service, glued together by the strong personal relationship between Mr Peters and Mr Munden.

“The disciplinary letters show a business (or businesses) which has a real respect for what it means to operate public services. I make no adverse findings in relation to the good repute of any party.”

Ultimately, the TC issued Abus with a formal warning in relation to maintenance. The firm’s licence will be suspended on 31 January 2019 if it fails to restructure its operations to be ‘fully compliant with the law’ by that date.