M Travel Ltd loses O-licence

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M Travel Ltd of Glass Houghton, West Yorkshire, has had its O-licence revoked, the Wakefield Express reported.

The company operated route 183 between Wakefield and Pontefract, the 134 between Pontefract and Castleford, services 487, 488 and 489 from Knottingley to Pontefract and back, services 30 and 39 between Pontefract, Upton and Hemsworth, number 49 between Pontefract and Low Ackworth, and several school services.

The operator had its licence officially cancelled from Saturday, April 29. Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) documents state that Directors Darren Mayes and Margaret Brown, who ran the company and its fleet of 26 vehicles, have also each been disqualified from applying for or holding an O-licence in the UK for 12 months.

The decisions followed a Public Inquiry (PI) into the company in Leeds, which took place in March.

At the PI, a number of maintenance issues were identified. S-marked prohibitions had been issued for tyres in bald or unserviceable condition, and defects recorded by drivers were not in turn handed over to the operator in a timely manner. Traffic Commissioner for the North East, Kevin Rooney, described the operator’s maintenance proceedings as nothing more than a paperwork exercise.

He said: “I have no hesitation in finding that this is an operator who is so bad as to need to be put out of business.”

The operator had 18 encounters with the authorities at the roadside over a three year period, with a prohibition rate of 26%. The operator’s MOT failure rate was 29% once items which could be repaired at the test location were discounted (50% before). This was three times worse than the national average.

A statement published online by West Yorkshire Metro said all school services would be covered by other operators.

It added: “On local commercial bus services, a new operator Stanley Gath will take over the following services on a commercial basis: service 183 Wakefield to Pontefrat, service 134 – Pontefract to Castleford via Junction 32 (now operating until approximately 1400hrs Monday – Friday, normal service on Saturdays), services 487/488/489 Knottingley – Pontefract via Chequerfield (some journeys withdrawn after 1400hrs. The Saturday service to Broomhill Estate will be withdrawn).”

Services run under contract for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have been replaced and continue to operate the same routes and timetables. CT Plus will run services 30, 39 and 49 and Arriva will run 134 services on an evening, under routes 410 and 411.