The two directors of GHA coaches, the Welsh bus company that went out of business in July, have been disqualified indefinitely from holding a public service vehicle operator's licence.
During a public hearing Nick Jones, traffic commissioner for Wales, heard of what he called ‘shambolic’ maintenance at the company, including an incident where the wheel came off a school bus.
In his written decision, he concluded: ’In this specific business the precedence that income has been given over maintenance and public safety has been systemic for a period of time.
’Road safety, the safety of the travelling public and the safety of vulnerable schoolchildren travelling on buses has very much been secondary.’
Brothers Gareth Lloyd-Davies and Arwyn Lloyd-Davies were both disqualified from holding or applying for an operator’s licence in any capacity including as a director, partner, or operator in any traffic area for an indefinite period, under section 28 of the Transport Act 1985
The Traffic Commissioner also disqualified Gareth Lloyd-Davies for an indefinite period from acting as a transport manager.
The company's two licences, authorising the use of 146 vehicles in Wales (with bases in Ruthin, Corwen, Ruabon and Wrexham) and 80 vehicles in the North West of England (with bases in Chester, Middlewich, Winsford and Macclesfield), were also revoked.
GHA Coaches employed almost 400 staff. Its sudden closure caused many local authorities to seek emergency operators for schools and public services.