Highlands & Islands

Stagecoach fined after Caithness bus lost wheel

Bus firm Stagecoach has been fined £10,000 after a wheel came off one of its buses in Caithness.

No-one was injured in the incident on the company's A836 Castletown route on 4 February this year.

However, Scotland's Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken said the incident could have had "catastrophic" consequences.

Highland Country Buses Ltd, which trades as Stagecoach in the Highlands, has been ordered to pay the fine.

Following an investigation, the commissioner concluded that there had been "failings in the company's maintenance systems".

Ms Aitken said: "Fortunately, no passengers were on board at the time and the detached wheel did not cause injury to any persons.

"I was dismayed to have received the report about this wheel loss, especially in relation to a service bus."

She added: "Compliant and punctual local bus services play a vital role in the ability of the travelling public to go about their daily journeys.

"A bus going out of service through wheel loss causes inconvenience to all."

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