South Scotland

Gretna-based school transport firm Kibex disqualified

A Gretna-based firm which provides school transport has been disqualified for 30 months by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland.

Joan Aitken made orders against Kibex Ltd, director Paula Baillie and shadow director Kieran White.

The move follows a public inquiry in Edinburgh with the disqualifications starting at the end of July.

Ms Aitken said Ms Baillie had been "incapable of controlling" Mr White's involvement in the business.

The company was called to public inquiry three years ago after South Lanarkshire Council revoked taxi licences operated in its name.

At that time Ms Baillie gave evidence it was her business not that of her partner Mr White.

'Controlling force'

He had lost his taxi licence by driving without insurance and could not have been nominated as a director when Kibex applied for its licence.

However, an investigation subsequently found a number of issues with its operation, including that Mr White might be a "controlling force".

The traffic commissioner concluded that the "overwhelming sense" was of the company being a joint undertaking with Mr White taking a leading role.

"The constraint on him was that he had to hold back from signing documentation given his disqualification," she said.

"It appeared from the evidence that nothing was done by Mr White and Ms Baillie to separate him from the governance or control of the business."

The traffic commissioner added that when she gave Kibex a licence, she had been worried about Mr White's "very chequered career" and his revoked taxi licences.

She had granted the firm's application in 2014 on the basis that he would not be in control of the business.

Ms Aitken also refused an application by the company for a standard national licence, which would have allowed them to operate more than two vehicles.

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