Express Motors PI hears that firm operated without O-licence

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An Express Motors vehicle was found to have carried out school transport after the operator’s licence was revoked. GARETH EVANS

At a Public Inquiry (PI) before Traffic Commissioner (TC) for Wales, Nick Jones, of Express Motors was found to have taken primary school children to swimming classes after its licence was revoked, the Daily Post reported.

Express Motors was operating without a licence when it was seen taking pupils from Ysgol Beddgelert for a swimming lesson at Porthmadog, Gwynedd. Nia Daniel, giving evidence as a Traffic Examiner with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), said she had received a report from Gwynedd Council in early January that Express Motors had contacted schools offering its services.

Services operated by Express Motors ended on December 31 following the revocation of its licence, after maintenance issues were raised at a PI in August 2017. Ms Daniel said: “The school (Ysgol Beddgelert) had been contacted by someone calling on behalf of Express Motors asking if there was still a need for a bus as usual. The same bus as had been used before Christmas turned up at the school but had a different driver than before and had an A4 sheet by the door stating the bus was operated by Eifion’s Coaches, a company based at Mona, Anglesey.”

Ms Daniel said she visited the Anglesey bus company and was told Kevin Jones, the transport manager at Express Motors, had contacted them and asked to take two buses onto their insurance and to carry out work on their behalf. TC Nick Jones said the evidence suggested Express Motors was ‘operating without a licence.’

Nick Jones is considering an application for a new O-licence by Express Motors (Caernarfon) Ltd, a firm headed by Rhian Wyn Davies. Rhian is the daughter of former Express Motors owners, Eric and Jean Jones.

Mrs Davies said she was unaware of the arrangement and said she had no involvement in the operation.

The hearing was told Eric Jones, Mrs Davies’ father, has retired from the business and will not be involved in the new entity. Her brother, Kevin Jones, was still attending the Express Motors premises in early January and was ‘interfering’ in the setting up of the new business, Mrs Davies told the PI.

The nominated Transport Manager, Dilwyn Roberts, had issued an ultimatum to Mrs Davies that either Kevin Jones stop attending the premises or he would leave.

The TC has said he would issue a written decision on the application and adjourned the PI.