SUNDAY bus services will cease this weekend after the company providing the buses had its licence revoked following a public inquiry.

Deputy Traffic Commissioner M H Dorrington heard evidence at a public inquiry into WH Collins & Co Ltd, based near Roch, on July 31.

Mr Dorrington was told that the company, which was licensed to operate 25 vehicles including buses used for school transport, did not have ‘appropriate financial standing’ which is a licence requirement.

“It is a mandatory requirement that the operator was able to demonstrate, on an ongoing permanent basis, appropriate financial standing of not less than £105,800,” states the report.

Pembrokeshire County Council has been unable to provide a replacement Sunday service but has found a company to step in and provide school buses.

In his report of the hearing Mr Dorrington said that the licence of W Collins & Co Limited would be revoked from September 1.

The hearing was also due to discuss issues of maintenance and issues relating to the transport manager Lyn Beattie but these were left to lie on file when the hearing over ran.

Because the operator licence was revoked and the case could not be relisted before that came into place it was deemed inappropriate to adjourn the hearing part heard.

In attendance for the operator were director Robert Beattie, transport manager Lyn Beattie, finance officer Joe McCarthy and maintenance manager John Davies.

The discussion of financial standing was held in private session over two hours, leaving insufficient time to deal with other issues.

Mr Dorrington said: “For several years, by admission of Mr Robert Beattie, director, the operator had not been able to show the necessary appropriate financial standing and was reliant on financial support from another company within the group of companies.”

He found that the level of appropriate financial standing would authorise two vehicles and he was asked to reduce the licence to cover that but he did not consider that an appropriate action.

He added: “I wish to make it clear that this operator has brought this situation entirely upon itself. Had the operator complied at the relevant time with the very clear condition that is written on the operator’s licence, or with the undertaking to inform the Traffic Commissioner of any material changes, the issue of the cross company guarantee could have been thoroughly explored by the Traffic Commissioner then.”

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