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Bus Operator Fined
A Coatbridge transport operator has been hit with a four-figure fine and warned to “significantly” change his ways after failing to operate a bus service while contracted to do so.
Thomas Arthur, who runs Arthur’s Coaches from Greenhill Industrial Estate, was ordered to pay £1,000 by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner for not running a bus on the 215 Coatbridge to Kirkwood circular service one day in August 2014.
His licence to operate will also be curtailed from 10 vehicles to seven at the end of this month. The action follows a public inquiry in April and an investigation into Mr Arthur’s vehicle safety and local bus service standards earlier this year.
Arthur, who is also transport manager of DA Coaches, has made several appearances at public inquiries in recent years.
In April, DA were fined £4000 and warned over future conduct after being found to have conducted a series of dangerous, careless and aggressive practices. In 2010 he appeared in respect of an adverse Traffic Examiner report and the following year he was fined £750 because of an adverse bus compliance report.
The under-fire operator denied failing to operate the 215 service, insisting one of his drivers, who no longer works for the firm, had assured him he had done so.
However, Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken preferred the evidence presented by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) saying: “I am satisfied that the 215 did not operate on that day in August 2014.
“Mr Arthur brought productions to this public inquiry but it was interesting what he did not bring, [such as] any evidence of monitoring last August.
“Nor did he bring any evidence to support that any purported ticket machine breakdown was in play at this time.”
Mr Arthur said that the machines would break down, and if they had done so on this occasion, the 215 service would be affected.
The service had been registered to operate under his licence until September 22 last year.
The inquiry also heard that prohibitions had been issued to his vehicles for defects and the annual test history was well below the national average. Mr Arthur blamed these issues on the age of his vehicles.
He told the Traffic Commissioner that he provides transport from Glasgow to Coatbridge for St Andrew’s Secondary School and from Chryston to Cumbernauld for St Maurice’s High. He reckons nine vehicles are required to run current contracts and local services.
Traffic Commissioner Aitken concluded: “Frankly, it is not acceptable that a registered bus service does not operate.
“I am disinclined to be lenient towards Mr Arthur. I have to pose myself the question as to whether I can trust him in future and I have a doubt, given what I heard in the DA Coaches Ltd case and given that this is this operator’s third time at Public Inquiry.
“There are 10 discs operated by this operator and I was told that nine are required for the current level of local service and school contract work. I consider that there has to be a reduction in authorisation to seven vehicles and this will mean that something has to give.”