Cumbrian coach firm's schools contract suspended amid safety concerns

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26 September 2017 11:30AM

A coach firm's contract to transport children to and from school has been suspended after a number of faults were found on its vehicles.

A routine inspection discovered defective brakes, tyre damage, a fuel leak and an insecure door on several vehicles owned by Cleator Moor-based 3D Travel.

As a result, Cumbria County Council has now temporarily suspended its school transport contract with the company.

Inspectors from the Government's Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) carried out assessments on around 14 vehicles at five different education sites.

These were West Lakes Academy at Egremont, Whitehaven Academy, St Benedict's School in Whitehaven, Hensingham Day Centre and the Copeland Occupational and Social Centre at Cleator Moor.

A spokesman for Cumbria County Council said: "As a result of a routine inspection by the DVSA, the council has decided to temporarily suspend one of its school transport contracts.

"Alternative arrangements are in place to transport children from affected routes to school, pending the outcome of further discussions with the contractor."

A parent of a child who attends West Lakes Academy said the council had never been in touch with parents to explain the situation.

"My son travels on one of 3D Travel coaches everyday and on Friday, May 12 there was a spot inspection in the school grounds and this resulted in the coach firm having all of their contracts suspended and other operators now taking the children to school."

A spokesman for the DVSA said: "We were involved in an operation where 16 vehicles were checked at five different sites."

He added there was a number of faults found on several of the vehicles – defective brakes, tyre damage, fuel leak and an insecure door.

We contacted 3D Travel and are awaiting a response.

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