Fishers Tours explores legal action over PSVAR

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Coach operator Fishers Tours of Dundee is threatening to sue the Department for Transport (DfT) for damages relating to exemptions awarded to requirements for PSVAR compliance.

Fishers Tours of Dundee spent £800,000 on PSVAR compliant coaches during 2019. Director James Cosgrove says that sum represents a huge investment for a small operator. The exemptions already awarded “have made it worthless,” he adds.

Mr Cosgrove has now written to DfT seeking compensation. He says that the money he has spent to comply has left him no better off than those operators that did not take heed of impending changes.

DfT is yet to reply to Mr Cosgrove’s letter. If it fails to do so, he does not rule out commencing legal action.

“This has had a knock-on impact on the business’ budget. To give an example, applying lettering to each vehicle that joins our fleet costs £1,000. Also, the expense of transporting them from their previous homes is significant. That is before I consider the purchase price.”

Fishers disposed of several vehicles that Mr Cosgrove says “had useful life left in them” as it moved to comply with PSVAR.

He hoped that taking the steps early would leave the business in a strong position from 1 January but adds that exemptions mean that is now not the case. He is also concerned that further special authorisations will be issued when the current ones expire.

“The exemptions were awarded at much too short notice. I began upgrading our fleet in March 2019 in the belief that PSVAR would be applied as the law states. It is not the fault of operators that have complied that others have not.”

Mr Cosgrove is now appealing for operators that are in the same position as Fishers to get in touch. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]