Coach firm loses licence over poor paperwork and drivers not taking breaks
THE paperwork of a Derbyshire coach firm which has lost its licence was in " an appalling state", according to the regional traffic commissioner.
Beverley Bell said that it was if Lavender Line Travel's records had been "picked up and thrown in the air".
The coach firm, which traded from Cotmanhay, was ordered off the road after drivers were allowed to work on school runs without taking their legal breaks.
A public inquiry into the firm's driver and safety standards revealed that one employee had worked for 13 days without taking a weekly rest and had failed to keep proper records of his school runs.
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Investigators also reported another driver for working eight days without taking the appropriate weekly rest of 45 consecutive hours.
In August 2012, a traffic examiner from the Vehicle and Operator Services was unable to speak to licence holder and owner Ruth Lavender as she had retired from the business due to ill health. Her husband, John Lavender, had taken over its running.
The examiner advised Mr Lavender – who was also named as transport manager for the firm – that it was illegal for him to operate under his wife's licence.
When interviewed, drivers admitted they were not aware of the legal requirements concerning taking rest and could not offer an explanation for their offences.
A separate visit, by a VOSA vehicle examiner, also revealed some issues with the operator's vehicle maintenance procedures, specifically on safety inspections. Mr Lavender was disqualified from as transport manager for three years.
Mrs Bell said: " I had to take vehicles off the road immediately as I could not risk passengers – mostly school pupils – being carried in unsafe vehicles and by an illegal operator."