W. Midlands PTE ' rival'
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WEST MIDLANDS PTE is facing unexpected competition on a group of services taken over earlier this month from an independent.
Following the compulsory liquidation of Mid Warwickshire Motors, the PTE has started operating seven Solihull area routes with its own buses. (CM, April 9), but a new company set up to replace Mid Warwickshire Motors but as yet without an operator's licence, is attempting to maintain the service using Mid Warwickshire vehicles.
The new company, Gimtool Ltd, has been refused a licence but has reapplied and appealed against the refusal. It expects the appeal or the new application to be heard within a month. In the meantime, Gimtool is operating the coaches over the routes at the same time as the PTE buses, using privately-licensed vehicles and charging no fares. It hopes to take over the old Mid Warwickshire road service licence on a short term basis.
Before Mid Warwickshire ran into its insurmountable problems, its operating costs for routes running within West Mid lands County had been met by the PTE and the independent kept the revenue.
Gimtool, which has the same owner as the liquidated Mid Warwickshire company, says it can afford to operate the services free for at least a month.
The PTE says its operation is not costing it much more than it previously paid Mid Warwickshire for operating on its behalf and that a large proportion of passengers use prepaid tickets and have thus already paid their fares.