Vision Travel stripped of operator licence

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Firm and drivers called to appear before TC for Drivers’ Hours infringements maintenance

Vision Travel International has been told to surrender its O-licence following a Public Inquiry (PI).

The operator, run by Peter Sharpe, was called to the PI in September after a large number of its drivers and managers were convicted of infringing Drivers’ Hours laws over driving time and not recording journeys properly. It was also summoned because of poor maintenance standards, revealed after an unannounced visit from VOSA in July 2012. The firm’s Transport Manager, Trevor Byng, also lost his repute.

In the Traffic Commissioner’s report, Sarah Bell said of Vision Travel International: “I pose the question – how likely it is that the operator will, in future, operate in compliance with the operators’ licensing regime? The answer must be unlikely.

“The operator has given assurances in the past and failed to meet them and from the evidence I heard I am not satisfied on balance that Mr Sharpe will change.

“I can no longer allow Vision Travel International to stay in the system. The risk to road safety is too great and there has been unfair competition to the detriment of the legitimate industry for too long. It is time to draw the line.”

At the same PI, held at Portsmouth’s Guildhall, the firm’s sister company, Vision Travel Minibuses, also had its O-licence revoked for similar reasons. Vision Travel Minibuses was liquidated in August 2012. However, the firm’s Transport Manager, David Sharpe, was told to surrender his licence, meaning he will be banned from operating a coach company anywhere in the UK or Europe and cannot reapply for his licence for at least 18 months.

Assuming it does not submit an appeal, Vision Travel International will cease trading at 2359hrs on February 22.

Three of the former Vision Travel Minibuses drivers and 12 from Vision Travel International were summoned to a Driver Conduct Hearing and were given warnings for not entering times correctly on a tachograph. The latter drivers were also warned, with only one exception, for not taking rest breaks.