Rapson’s new coach firm granted O-licence

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Inverness-based coach firm Highland Translink has been granted a public service vehicle operator licence by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Joan Aitken, following a Public Inquiry (PI) last month.

Following the firm’s application for a National 18-vehicle O-licence, Aitken called the firm, formerly named Ledge 1096, to a PI in Inverness on December 21, as she was concerned there was “little transparency about the company”.

By the time of the PI, changes had been made to the application, including the name being amended to Highland Translink.

As a result of information relating to the application being made clearer, Aitken granted a ninevehicle O-licence – half the original number applied for.

“I was concerned about this application. I did not find the name Ledge 1096 to be transparent. By the time of the PI, changes had been made to the application and from evidence heard at the PI, the position became much clearer.”

The directors of Highland Translink are Montgomery Smillie of Smithon, Inverness and Robert MacLeod of Muir of Ord. Smillie previously worked for the Rapson and Stagecoach groups and has a vehicle engineering background. MacLeod has a background in numerous transport companies, including Cruise Highlands.

The firm is 75% is owned by Sandy Rapson, now of the Isle of Man and who will not be an operational presence, and 25% by Smillie. The aim is to run private hire vehicles, school contracts and particular engagement with serving cruise ship passengers, with no current intention to enter registered service work.