Orange Coach Travel loses licence after PI

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Vehicles without an MOT were used to transport school children

David Roots, trading as Orange Coach Travel of Woking, had his O-licence terminated at the end of March. He was called before London and the South East TC Nick Denton following investigations by VOSA.

Evidence presented during the Public Inquiry (PI) led the TC to conclude the firm’s management of maintenance was “not sufficiently organised” and had resulted in a vehicle being used to transport school children without an MOT.

The expiry of the annual test meant the vehicle would not have been insured on the journey.

David Roots said he was annoyed with himself for failing to uphold promises made at a PI in June 2012, including attending a licence awareness course.

Reviewing the firm’s previous history, the TC noted the operator had his licence suspended for seven days in 2012. This was also the operator’s fourth PI during the 12-year life of his licence and the second in nine months.

An independent audit was also critical of the safety inspections carried out by Mr Roots. The TC also heard a vehicle operated by the business, carrying children, had been in an accident.

The operator explained the incident had been the result of a driver error and the police had not brought a prosecution.

Nick Denton said: “Far from rushing to put his house in order after the June 2012 PI, as a competent Transport Manager would have been expected to do, he failed to fulfil his undertakings and failed to inform me he had not carried them out.”

He added that previous rulings against Mr Roots had not “jolted him into the necessary action”. The TC said: “Only in the few days before the 2013 PI and in the few days since has he apparently grasped the urgency of his situation and put the maintenance in the hands of an outside contractor, arranged an audit and attended a CPC refresher course.

“He should have done all this after the PI last June, not just before the PI this February. No one reading the audit report could conclude this licence is in safe hands.”

Mr Roots’ licence was revoked from April 1.

He was disqualified from working as a Transport Manager for other passenger transport businesses for 12 months.