Norfolk school bus operator banned 23 September 2021

A DVSA investigation has led to the barring of a Norfolk coach company whose director was on duty for 24 hours straight, including a school run and rail replacement bus service, when required by law to take a nine-hour rest.

PTS Group (Norfolk) Limited, trading as Wrights Coaches, based at Hoveton, Norwich had its Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence revoked, at Public Inquiry by the Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the East of England from 6 October 2021 for multiple offences including knowingly falsifying tachograph records.

A DVSA Traffic Examiner detected 63 drivers’ hours offences over a three-month period, 41 of which were committed by the Director, Matthew Wright, 31.

The offences were discovered after an unannounced visit was made by DVSA officers in September 2019, launching a detailed examination of drivers’ hours and maintenance records.

In addition, a DVSA vehicle examiner discovered that there was no forward planning system in place for coach maintenance. Coach safety checks were not being undertaken within the required time interval, and there was an ineffective system in place for reporting and rectifying roadworthiness defects.

Fifteen tachograph records were falsified and drivers had used other drivers’ names on records to conceal illegal and dangerous practices of taking insufficient rest. Records for journeys accounting for 7,381km were also missing.

Wright has lost his repute as a transport manager. He was disqualified from being a director of any company for one year and disqualified as a transport manager for two years, in addition to receiving a driving licence suspension to drive coaches for six months.

Five drivers’ entitlement to drive coaches were suspended by the deputy traffic commissioner at driver conduct hearings and an additional three drivers were given formal warnings for their actions.

Marian Kitson, Director of Enforcement for DVSA said: “Laws are in place to keep our roads safe and DVSA will not tolerate such blatant and intentional disregard for the safety of passengers and road users.

Transport Engineer

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.