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School bus company banned from the road
12:41pm Tuesday 11th December 2012 in News
.A school bus company has been banned from the road after its drivers were repeatedly caught speeding and going through red lights
J&M Coaches Ltd failed to give police the details of nearly 40 drivers who were caught breaking the law in the company’s vehicles.
The firm, which trades as Crawley Luxury Coaches, will now have its operator’s licence suspended for seven days from January 1 and transport manager David Brown has been disqualified for three months.
Repeated failings The company has 12 school contracts with West Sussex County Council and also has agreements with East Sussex County Council.
A West Sussex spokesman said that other operators would be brought in during the week of Crawley Luxury Coaches’ ban, but that the firm’s services would be retained once it had served the suspension.
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership yesterday (December 10) revealed that the company failed to pass over the details of 29 drivers caught speeding and ten who had failed to stop at traffic lights.
The company also failed to develop a system to record which individuals were driving which coach at any given moment, which hindered Sussex Police’s attempts to identify the offenders – despite officers demanding one be set up.
In 2010 the company was prosecuted four times for failing to give driver details following road traffic offences, but just a year later the company supplied incorrect driver details to police, despite having the correct details on file.
Nicholas Denton, the traffic commissioner for London and the South East, has now ruled that the firm had been negligent by letting drivers break the law without punishment.
The firm’s drivers have also been ordered to attend a speed awareness course by the end of March, while David Brown and fellow company director Darren Brown must attend a transport manager refresher course.
Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas, of Sussex Police’s roads policing unit, said: “The weight of the sanctions brought against J&M Brown Coaches shows the seriousness with which the Traffic Commissioner views its actions.
“Despite numerous warnings and 39 different offences being submitted to the company, it is disappointing that it took no action to remedy failings, thereby putting the safety of the customers at risk.”
A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “We are putting in place arrangements to make sure that all of the ‘home to school’ coach contracts are run by other operators during the suspension.”
He added that parents will be made aware of any changes before January 7.
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