Bus operators to fight test case
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• Charges have been preferred against 18 private bus operators in West Lothian for contravening the Road Traffic Act 1960 .by allegedly picking up fare-paying passengers without authorization and carrying them to their work.
But some 30 operators in the area who have formed the Lothian Coach Hirers' Association, plan to fight a test case should the procurator-fiscal decide to prosecute.
A spokesman for the Scottish Traffic Commissioners said that it was unusual for so many operators to be charged simultaneously. Normally, such charges arose out of a complaint by a third party that an operator was illegally carrying fare-paying passengers, but in the present cases the LA's own examiners had instigated an investigation.
As a result, the police had submitted a report to the procurator-fiscal. but k might take some months for any case to come up for trial, probably at Linlithgow Sheriff Court.
Mr Thomas Ferguson, a coach hirer at Blackburn. and treasurer of the newly-formed association, said that they wanted to break the monopoly of fare-paying services held by the Scottish Bus Group.