A BUS operator's licence is set to be revoked after his vehicles failed their MoTs several times and he failed to provide evidence of his financial standing.

Christopher Matthews, trading as Red Bus Days in Keighley, will lose his licence with effect from January 31 unless he is successful with a new licence application.

The decisions follows a public inquiry before the Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England.

Industry regulator, Tim Blackmore, issued a formal warning to Mr Matthews in his role as transport manager and concluded that his repute had been tarnished.

He held back on a finding that repute was lost by the narrowest of margins and only with the agreement by Mr Matthews to undertake a two-day Certificate of Professional Competence refresher course by December 31.

Issues identified during the hearing included:

* A vehicle was used for hire and reward without an MOT. It was out of date by six weeks

* Mr Matthews was conducting regular vehicle safety inspections himself without the necessary qualifications and facilities to do so. He had stated to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner that vehicles would be inspected by a third party provider

* Brake tests were not conducted at every vehicle safety inspection, in line with guidance

* Out of eight MOT tests in 2018/19, five vehicles failed their test – three for emergency doors and two for brakes

* Prohibitions issued to vehicles for defects which should have been reported by drivers (lights and doors) indicated the defect reporting system was inadequate

Red Bus Days runs several vehicles for hire including wedding cars, minibuses, double decker and vintage buses and coaches.

The company's website says its clients consist of many local schools and companies as well as private individuals in and around Keighley.

The licence was called to public inquiry due to Mr Matthews’ failure to produce evidence of financial standing, which is a mandatory requirement, and the use of an unauthorised operating centre.

Mr Matthews did not provide evidence of financial standing at the public inquiry. He had been given a period of grace by the Traffic Commissioner to rectify this position but failed to do so by the maximum period allowed (six months).

Mr Blackmore said that while he had some concerns over the maintenance arrangements in place he was prepared to allow time for a fresh licence application before the revocation takes effect.

Until the revocation takes effect, the licence held by Mr Matthews will be reduced to one vehicle from two.

An independent audit of the operator’s systems for maintenance and drivers’ hours and the effectiveness with which those systems are implemented is also to be carried out by a trade association or certified independent body, within four months of any new licence being issued.

Mr Matthews said: "I had already planned to go down to one licence and this new application idea was the suggestion of the Traffic Commissioner, the new operating licence will start as the old one finishes so there will be no break in service.

"I am very grateful to him for this suggestion which arose because I did not bring the correct papers to the inquiry, and the deadline was the next day, and there would be no time to consider them."

Mr Matthews said he had used his vehicles for numerous charitable causes over the years including supporting a campaign to help a terminally-ill woman and providing transport for various local organisations which needed it at his own cost.