Licences of Western Greyhound and Black Velvet are revoked

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Black Velvet was placed in compulsory liquidation in June 2015. MIKE SHEATHER
Black Velvet was placed in compulsory liquidation in June 2015. MIKE SHEATHER

Director Michael Bishop is disqualified following an incident where two wheels came off a vehicle in service

Two bus operators in Cornwall and Hampshire have had their licences revoked by the Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, Sarah Bell. The director of both operators has also been disqualified.

The decision followed unsatisfactory vehicle maintenance at Western Greyhound Limited and Black Velvet Travel Limited. The written decision from Sarah Bell followed a public inquiry on September 10.

In one case, a Black Velvet bus lost two wheels when in service on the M3, causing a crash.

Director Michael Bishop was disqualified from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence for an indeterminate period. He was also disqualified from being involved in the management, administration or control of a transport operation. Former Black Velvet Transport Manager Philip Stockley received a formal warning, while no action was taken against former Western Greyhound Directors Robin Orbell and Maria Howarth.

Michael Bishop became the director of Black Velvet in August 2014, having previously been the director of a company which went into liquidation owing in excess of £1m, Sarah Bell said. The company was placed in compulsory liquidation in June 2015.

In December 2014, two wheels came off a Black Velvet vehicle on the M3 and one struck an HGV. The vehicle was found to not have an MOT.

That month, DVSA was also notified of a number of complaints about the reliability of the Black Velvet services, and Sarah Bell said her office was also told of unsatisfactory maintenance issues at Western Greyhound.

Western Greyhound was sold to Michael Bishop in December 2014 and went into administration in March 2015.

Michael Bishop was the sole director on both licences for most of his involvement with them, save for a period at Black Velvet when Adam Smith, aka Paul Jones, was named as a director. After being named as director on August 1, 2014, he resigned on September 2, 2014. On the same day, he was sentenced at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court to a 16 month jail term suspended for two years and 150 hours of unpaid work for using and possessing fake banknotes, with a total sum of £9,600 involved.


CBW intends to publish a larger legal news piece on this decision in next week’s issue