Tees

Middlesbrough Minibus licences revoked amid safety fears

Three Teesside minibus firms have had their licences to operate revoked amid safety concerns - with one said to have an "appalling roadworthiness history".

Kevin Rooney, traffic commissioner for the North East, also refused to grant licences to two other companies.

He cited concerns over the condition of vehicles, qualifications of drivers and observance of safety procedures as reason to remove licences.

Mr Rooney also suspended one licence and gave another firm a formal warning.

Zubair Elahi, trading as Euro Cars, had his licence revoked and was disqualified as an operator until January next year after Mr Rooney heard vehicles had been banned because of defects, with one travelling more than 6,200 miles (10,000km) with a defective steering joint.

Anser Akbar, trading as Blueline Travel, lost his licence after a vehicle was discovered with a significant tyre defect and a driver was found not to have a licence to carry passengers.

And Mr Rooney removed the licence of Imran Khan, trading as Khan's, because of his vehicle's "appalling roadworthiness history".

Mr Rooney said: "Operating a minibus is something that cannot be taken lightly.

"It's not good enough to fill in an application form, get the licence and then ignore or neglect the operating standards.

"The rules are there to keep passengers and the roads safe."

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