Immediate revocation and ban for school bus operator

The operation of school contracts with vehicles with expired MOT test certificates and vehicle excise duty, together with issues over vehicle maintenance, have led to the immediate revocation of the three-vehicle O-Licence held by Sowerby Bridge-based David Pilling and his three-year disqualification from holding or obtaining a PSV O-licence. In addition, Traffic Commissioner (TC) Tim Blackmore disqualified Mr Pilling from acting as a Transport Manager (TM) for three years, after which he will have to pass a TM’s CPC exam.

David Pilling, trading as Twin Valley Coaches, of Industrial Road, Sowerby Bridge, had been called before the TC at a Leeds Public Inquiry. At the outset Mr Pilling said that he had decided to surrender his licence as he did not have the time to run it properly.

The TC said that he would not accept the surrender of the licence. An investigation followed intelligence suggesting that buses on school runs and private hire were not being maintained properly. When Mr Pilling drove a vehicle into his operating centre Vehicle Examiner (VE) Alan Lodge noted that it had no current MOT and the road tax had expired. Of the four vehicles in possession three had significantly out of date MOTs and two were untaxed.

Mr Pilling said that he had no reasonable excuse. He appreciated that as a result the vehicles were uninsured. He had been honestly surprised.

The TC said that as an experienced operator and professional Transport Manager he should not have been surprised. One vehicle had a MOT test in February and had failed. Another had had a test booked in November 2018 but never turned up. Mr Pilling had been doing his own inspections. The VE had reported that the facilities were unsuitable as the inspection pit had been used for storage for some time.