‘Linked operators’ Coach and Bus Services Ltd (sic) Leicester Ltd and Vikingcoaches.com (Viking) were called to Public Inquiry (PI), where the former saw O-licence revocation for lack of financial standing and the latter received a final formal warning.
The two licences were called to the PI for matters relating to adequate funding and compliance with maintenance and safety procedures.
The businesses – which are in the control of a father and his sons, Paul, Adam and James Garratt – drew regulatory attention due to unsatisfactory outcomes of DVSA maintenance investigations.
The licence for a third business, Bryan Arthur Garratt and Partners trading as Abbey Travel, had also been called to the conjoined PI on the 25 June 2018, but the licence was terminated on 8 June.
Viking has a history of appearances at regulatory hearings, and received a further formal, but now final warning for compliance issues regarding maintenance and safety checks.
Issues found by a DVSA vehicle examiner include:
- A lack of Transport Manager access to records;
- The issue of four prohibitions to four different vehicles during the investigation;
- In-house maintenance staff and their suitability to manage an ageing fleet;
- The absence of measured brake testing in accordance with the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness; and
- Inadequacies in wheel re-torque policies and arrangements.
Coach and Bus Services had its O-licence revoked with effect from 2359hrs on 24 September 2018, due to matters regarding the company’s financial standing.
The Traffic Commissioner (TC) for the North West of England, Simon Evans, stated: “The ability to meet financial standing at both Viking and at Coach and Bus is predicated on the recycling of monies between the two businesses.
“This is a company where there have been long-term issues in terms of satisfying financial standing including my office having to resort to issuing PTR (Propose to Revoke) letters to the company.”
Adam Garratt who is the Transport Manager for both companies was seen at the PI and the TC said: “I conclude that his repute is seriously tarnished but not lost.”
Viking will be expected by 10 November 2018, at the latest, to appoint a ‘suitably experienced’ additional transport manager. The additional transport manager will be expected to attend the business on at least one full day per fortnight to carry out duties alongside Adam Garratt.