Revocations and disqualifications follow fatal accident

Directors Michael Parker and Brett Parker were disqualified indefinitely ‘in view of the seriousness of their conduct and abrogation of their responsibilities as operators’

The O-Licences held by the associated Priory Coaches UK and Rigleys Hire have been revoked by Traffic Commisisoner (TC) Nick Denton, and company Directors Michael Parker and Brett Parker disqualified indefinitely from holding or obtaining a PSV O-licence. Michael Parker and Paula Parker were also disqualified indefinitely from acting as Transport Managers.

The two companies both held four-vehicle International O-Licences. They were called before the TC following a fatal accident involving a Rigleys Hire vehicle in which a schoolchild was killed. The two companies operated their vehicles from the same disused factory in Baker Street, Coalville. That was not the nominated operating centre on either O-Licence. No one from the two companies attended the Public Inquiry.

Traffic Examiner Anita Barwell reported that the vehicle involved in the fatal collision on 28 January 2019 was being driven by Michael Parker, who did not have the required category D driving entitlement. He only had a provisional car licence. The vehicle was therefore being driven uninsured.  It was still “registered to the motor trade” according to DVLA records and was consequently untaxed by Rigleys after acquiring it.

She requested maintenance and tachograph records from Rigleys but she had received a letter from Michael Parker enclosing only the Rigleys vehicle licence discs and offering assurances that neither he nor Paula Parker would be involved in the coach and bus industry at any time in the future.  Maintenance and tachograph records had also been requested from Priory. Letters had been returned marked “gone away”. An email to TM Paula Parker had not been answered.

Police Sergeant Dolby of Leicestershire Police said that on 10 February 2019 a vehicle operated by Priory was stopped by police. The driver was Brett Parker, sole director of the company, who did not have the category of driving licence required. It was therefore being driven uninsured. Mr Parker’s driver CPC had also expired. He had received a six-month driving ban and been fined £700 for the offences. The prosecution of Michael Parker for his offences in January 2019 was ongoing.

Vehicle Examiner Julian Parkes said that that he had examined the vehicle after the fatality in January and had found nothing amiss apart from a slight oil leak from the steering, which would not have had any effect on the collision. Rigleys’ nominated maintenance provider had been contacted and had stated that it had refused to undertake the maintenance of Rigleys’ vehicles since previous director Richard Rigley had left the business in June 2018.

Making the revocation and disqualification orders, the TC said that Paula Parker and Michael Parker had presided as TMs over a seriously unlawful operation. These were people who had knowingly sent out PSVs with drivers not entitled to drive buses and coaches. Their irresponsibility and lack of regard for the safety of their passengers and other road users was deplorable. He was disqualifying both Michael Parker and Brett Parker from holding an O-Licence in the future in view of the seriousness of their conduct and abrogation of their responsibilities as operators.