Coach crash company Carmel loses licence

Carmel coach Image copyright Geof Sheppard
Image caption Carmel Coaches runs a number of local bus routes including schools services

A Devon bus and coach company has lost its licence over "woeful failures" and safety concerns.

Carmel Coaches runs bus routes for schools services and private hire from bases in Northlew and Exeter.

Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, has made an order to revoke its licence and those of two of its directors from the end of July.

Issues included serious defects not being fixed and poor record keeping of safety issues over a number of years.

Ms Bell said: "In light of the woeful failures which remain as recently as 6 May 2014, on balance I am drawn to the conclusion that Carmel Coaches Limited, Mr Tony Hazell and Mr Michael Hazell are not capable or competent to operate the necessary systems to ensure vehicles remain roadworthy when in service and in a lawful manner."

'Rigorous investigation'

The findings of the report said that in March a number of Carmel coach drivers told inspectors about "many different defects" on its vehicles.

On 24 April two buses were prohibited at the roadside following the disembarking of children at a school bus check.

One of the company's vehicles was involved in a coach crash at Looe in Cornwall on 13 May in which two people died.

The commissioner had gathered her evidence before the crash and said that her decision did not reflect the incident.

In the report Ms Bell said:" I make it clear that I have put that event from my mind for the purposes of this written decision.

"The incident will be the subject of a rigorous investigation by the police and various agencies."

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