River Tay Executive Travel loses licence after breach of drivers’ hours rules

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A Dundee-based coach operator has been disqualified for two years after breaching drivers’ hours rules.

Kevin McDonald, trading as River Tay Executive Travel, had his O-licence suspended by Traffic Commissioner (TC) for Scotland, Joan Aitken.

A Public Inquiry (PI) found that proper systems were not in place to ensure journeys were properly recorded. The industry regulator said it had found numerous instances of employees driving for more than four and a half hours without a break.

The company’s transport manager, along with four drivers, were given formal warnings.

River Tay Executive Travel operates five coaches from its premises in Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate.

Joan Aitken said: “Mr McDonald did not have in place proper systems to ensure that journeys were properly recorded, that drivers were taking breaks and rest when required to do so on occasions.

“This operator’s drivers were not recording their hours accurately.

“The day of the coach driver is not simply one of turning the engine on and driving and then taking rest or breaks, but involves many other tasks and duties.”

The decision was due to take effect from May 31, 2016, though the Dundee Evening Telegraph reported that the operator is appealing the decision.

Kevin McDonald told customers that any bookings would be honoured pending the outcome of his appeal, though he admitted that if the bid was unsuccessful, it was unlikely the firm would continue.

Kevin told the newspaper: “My solicitor has lodged a stay of revocation to allow us time to appeal the decision and until that time all bookings will remain in place — we are happy to deal with any customers inquiries regarding bookings.

“I have worked hard all my life — especially to establish this business. As everyone can appreciate it is costing a lot of money to fight this case.

“We believe the commissioners’ decision is disproportionate in relation to what the business has actually failed to do and that is why we are fighting this decision.

“We are confident the decision will be overturned as it is the first time in 14 years that River Tay has had any problems with the TC. If we do not win the appeal we might have to consider calling it a day.”

A spokesman for the Office of the Traffic Commissioners told CBW that the date the decision was due to take effect was delayed by a week, but a full stay of revocation had not been granted. When contacted by CBW, a representative of the Upper Tribunal could not find a reference to appeal proceedings from River Tay Executive Travel, and the operator was unavailable for comment.