Warning to coach firm

AN ABERDEENSHIRE coach firm owner has been told he came close to being closed down.

The warning was issued to Richard Philip by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner after a public inquiry into Philips Coaches (Alford) Ltd.

The firm operates from the Bus Depot in Alford and Millview, Lethenty, near Inverurie.

Following the hearing in Edinburgh last year, Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken has decided that Mr Philip’s current public service vehicle operator’s licence for five vehicles should be revoked on February 12.

She has granted a new licence to the company from that date, limiting the licence to four vehicles for a period of four months.

Mr Philip wanted to increase his fleet to eight vehicles to do more school contract work and to work with a tour company running trips to Ireland, and possibly Euro Disney in Paris. The inquiry heard that 90 per cent of his PSV work involved school contracts.

He had been called to previous inquiries concerning his adherence to licence undertakings, financial standing and whether financial standing could be met for an increase in authorisation. He was refused increases above five.

In her written findings the commissioner says: “This decision to limit authorisation to four vehicles will have the affect of preventing Mr Philip either as a sole trader or limited company from engaging in the level of school work hitherto undertaken or desired.

“This is regulatory action which recognises Mr Philip has offended against fair competition and in gaining contracts may have placed compliant operators at a disadvantage.

“Mr Philip should be in no doubt that he has come close to losing his repute and any chance of continuing to operate public service vehicles.”