Edinburgh coach firm refused O-licence

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An Edinburgh coach firm was refused an O-licence after an investigation by the Scottish Traffic Commissioner (TC) revealed it had unlawfully run a school bus service.

Clark’s Coaches owner Colin Livingstone was called to a public inquiry in early November after the TC, Joan Aitken, received an “adverse” report from VOSA.

It emerged the school contract for Dalkeith High School was held by Duddingston Private Hire, with the company’s owner believing he had sub-contracted the work to another Edinburgh-based firm, MacBackpackers, who Mr Livingstone was working for as transport manager at the time.

However, Mr Livingstone was using MacBackpackers’ O-license disk, without the firm’s knowledge, on a vehicle belonging to Clark’s Coaches, which he had recently set up and for which he was in the process of applying for a licence.

The TC said: “Had there been an accident, there would have been great upset and legitimate queries as to how such circumstances had been allowed to occur.”

At the inquiry, Mr Livingstone accepted the evidence and conceded that greed had got the better of him. He has since resigned from MacBackpackers.

The TC added: “Mr Colin Livingstone duped Mr Derek Wilkinson of Duddingston Travel, who unwittingly allowed an unlawful operator to carry schoolchildren from Danderhall to Dalkeith High School. Mr Wilkinson appears to have relied on his social contact with Mr Livingstone and to have trusted him.

“I find Mr Livingstone as having crossed the line and he has lost his repute as transport manager.”