Beds, Herts & Bucks

School limousines found defective in Luton crackdown

Seven limousines carrying schoolchildren to an end of term prom in Bedfordshire failed road safety tests, it has been revealed.

Only one vehicle was fit to carry anyone to Icknield High School's annual prom in Luton on 9 July.

The owner of an ice cream van hired to carry one of the students to the event standing up also faces prosecution.

Council officials, police and the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) carried out vehicle spot checks.

Serious problems were found when vehicles were checked for mechanical faults and documents inspected.

Prohibition notices were issued to seven of the eight limousines hired for the occasion.

Public 'at risk'

"One was in such a dangerous mechanical condition, it had to be compounded overnight," a police spokesman said.

"Its driver was issued with a £200 fixed penalty notice.

"In the case of a student who arrived at the school premises standing in an ice-cream van, for which his parent had paid its driver a fee, both the driver and the owner are now facing potential prosecution.

"Apart from the non-seating arrangement, this breached licensing and road traffic legislation."

Dave Taylor, from Luton Borough Council, said: "Our duty is to keep the travelling public as safe as possible.

"The spot check exercise was carried out with licensing officers working in partnership with VOSA and the police.

"It followed intelligence about limousine operations which, historically, have raised concerns about both licensing and the mechanical safety of the vehicles, placing the public at risk of harm."

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