Former coach director investigated by BBC Inside Out

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A former coach company director in Hampshire owes nearly £130,000 to customers and contractors, according to a BBC investigation.

Rikki Lee Powell reportedly has 59 unpaid county court judgements against him and his companies since 2010.

The BBC’s Inside Out programme spoke to 13 clients and five companies who said they were owed money by Mr Powell.

School Principal Peta Moffitt said she paid £720 to Tempo Coaches of Marchwood to take a group of children from Bournemouth to London’s West End, but the coach failed to arrive.

Another client, Wendy Hardy, said guests at her son’s wedding were left stranded at a church in Winchester when no coach came to take them to the reception, while a third customer from Eastleigh said her travel agent paid more than £2,000 for a coach which never arrived. None of the three received refunds.

The former Bournemouth borough councillor told Inside Out via email he blamed drivers for failing to turn up as arranged, but did not respond to enquiries about his debts.

His previous firm Southern Coaches Ltd was dissolved in July, and he resigned as a director of Marchwood-based Tempo Coaches on September 19. He is still a named director of First National Coaches UK Ltd.

The Office of the Traffic Commissioner said it is due to consider disciplinary action against Mr Powell on October 27.