Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

McKendry's Coaches bus fleet halved by traffic commissioner

A Midlothian private bus company has had its licence to run 10 coaches halved by the Deputy Traffic Commissioner.

McKendry's Coaches of Loanhead was found to have a "lack of effective control" over staff and the activities of its maintenance department.

The business, run by Anne McKendry, appeared before Simon Evans at a public inquiry on 1 February in Edinburgh.

It follows a probe into its vehicle maintenance and safety standards.

Simon Evans's order means Ms McKendry can only run five vehicles under the licence, for an indefinite period.

During the inquiry, Mr Evans heard how two wheels had become detached from a vehicle operated by the firm in May 2012.

The coach was carrying school children on a trip from Peebles.

He also noted that the operator had been convicted for permitting alcohol to be carried on a coach carrying football supporters and fined £500.

In evidence to the Deputy Commissioner, an examiner from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency reported problems with the operator's maintenance systems.

He also concluded that three factors had contributed to the wheel loss, including the fact that the driver on the day had not carried out a walk round check to visually identify any defects on the vehicle.

Wheel loss

Ms McKendry told the Deputy Commissioner things had not progressed as she would have wanted after a previous public inquiry in March 2012.

However, she added steps had been taken to remind drivers of their obligations about walk-round checks and for employees to attend courses by the end of February.

The firm has dismissed the driver involved in the wheel loss incident.

After considering all the evidence, Mr Evans issued his decision in writing.

Ordering that the licence would be cut from 10 to five vehicles indefinitely from 01 March 2013, the Deputy Commissioner said: "My consideration must primarily be based on my assessment of the size of operation that I feel can be handled safely by the operator.

"It may be that in the years to come it may be built back but for now I conclude that nothing short of halving the fleet would be enough."

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