Two-month cut for Guildford BC
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by Derren Hayes • Guildford Borough Council had its Operators Licence cut by four vehicles for two months after maintenance problems led to seven prohibitions over five years. Following a Vehicle Inspectorate check on 11 September 1995 at the council's main depot in Woking Road, Guildford, two vehicles out of eight examined were issued with prohibitions. This followed five similar prohibition orders and two warning letters issued since 1991.
Michael Culver, for the VI, told the Eastbourne public inquiry that defects including worn pedal rubbers, faulty lights, brakes and wheel nuts had been found during checks of the council's 30-vehicle fleet. The council said many of the problems were caused by bad communications between its workshop manager and maintenance staff. It also produced a number of vehicle maintenance record sheets that it claimed showed the council had been acting on reported defects. However, Brigadier Michael Turner disagreed, questioning the quality of the maintenance work and checking procedures. He highlighted two checks carried out on a vehicle four days apart. He said: "Some defects had not been noted and others that had been fixed reappeared Four days later. I find it unlikely these faults happened in the 60 miles the vehicle travelled in that time." The council has now increased maintenance staff and has arranged for the Freight Transport Association to check the whole fleet every three months. Curtailing the licence Turner said: 'The council accept all has not been 100%, but staff are now taking positive steps to put things right."