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Community transport firm warned on record keeping

John Freeman
A Morecambe-based community transport firm has been issued with a warning after it failed to keep accurate records of the hours its drivers were working.

Lune Valley Transport Enterprise Ltd was called before the North Western Traffic Commissioner following an investigation by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which found the company did not have acceptable arrangements in place for recording drivers’ hours.

The firm, which is based at Vickers Industrial Estate on Mellishaw Lane, was also served with two immediate prohibition notices by VOSA following a visit in 2011, preventing the use of two of its vehicles due to concerns about their roadworthiness.

Lune Valley, which provides buses for local schools, sheltered housing groups and elderly and disabled people, appeared before the North Western Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell, on 6th February 2012.

The company was warned it could risk losing its permits to operate community transport services if it fails to comply with government regulations in future.

“Firms that operate community transport services are legally required to record the hours their drivers work, to ensure the safety of both employees and passengers," said Beverley Bell.

“Officers from VOSA will check that Lune Valley complies with the regulations in future and, if it does not, then I would be perfectly entitled to revoke its permits to run community transport buses.

“Companies that comply with the rules for recording drivers’ hours have nothing to fear, but those that don’t will be called to a formal inquiry to explain themselves.”