United Coaches Ltd fined £2,000

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Traffic Commissioner for Scotland (TC), Joan Aitken has ordered United Coaches Ltd to pay £2,000 to the Scottish Government by 30 October 2018, due to the ‘failing of local registered services’.

The operator and Mrs McGroarty, as Director, were also warned in relation to repute.

United Coaches Ltd was called to public inquiry after submitting a variation application to increase authorisation.

The TC had concerns regarding entity and control of the business; an adverse Vehicle Examiner report; the operation of local registered services; and a variation application to increase the authorisation.

The TC concluded that the operator had breached the licence undertakings in respect of vehicle roadworthiness and the operator was warned in that respect.

The TC said: “The Vehicle Examiner’s investigation in February 2017 showed deficiencies in the operator’s standards given the high fail rate at MOT. Considerable advice had to be given in relation to contemporary standards.”

Despite the TC stating that, “In cases where there are adverse findings, and this is such a case, it is unusual to ‘reward’ an operator with an increase in authorisation,” the variation application was granted and the authorisation on the licence will be nine vehicles.

There will be a condition on the licence that access and egress to the operating centre and any future operating centres will be in forward gear only.

The TC said: “I had concerns about the capacity of the operating centre.

“The operator can manoeuvre vehicles into spaces in the yard. However, I shall place a condition on the licence that access and egress to the operating centre will be in forward gear only.

“That will serve to secure road safety and to encourage a move to different larger premises if more vehicles are obtained.”

The TC concluded: “The report from BUS, my own observations, the age of the vehicles, show that this is an operation which needs to improve.

“The BUS officer found early running, aggressive driving, and adverse engagement with other drivers on the route.

“There must be no failings at annual test. There must be no more bus wars. She should become a respectable bus operator geared to standards and distance herself from any persons who are aggressive or Neanderthal by nature. She should consider joining CPT as a source of advice and guidance.”