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Saturday, 23 August 2014

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Taxi firm loses Millom school contract

A TAXI firm has been stripped of a vital contract following a public inquiry.

Pete’s Taxis, of Millom, operated a contract on behalf of Cumbria County Council transporting pupils from Millom to Sandside Lodge School, in Ulverston.

In December the firm appeared at a public inquiry by the Traffic Commissioner as a result of a crash involving a minibus owned by the firm on the A595 near Waberthwaite, in December 2011.

The Vehicle Standards Authority investigated and found registration of the company had not passed from Pete Dickinson snr to Pete Dickinson jnr in 2007, when he took over the firm.

The Traffic Commissioner chose to revoke the firm’s licence for operating vehicles with nine seats or more and Cumbria County Council has confirmed, following the result of the public inquiry, that it has decided to strip the firm of its contract for the school.

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “Pete’s Taxis licence to operate vehicles of nine seats or more was permanently revoked by the Traffic Commissioners at the public inquiry.

“Our contract was suspended whilst we investigated this and whether Pete’s Taxis could contractually continue with the route.

“We have now taken the decision to terminate their contract for this route.

“We will be advertising the tender for this route in the near future.

“Once the new contract is awarded, we will advise parents accordingly.”

Tina Swithenbank, who runs the firm along with her partner, Mr Dickinson, vowed to fight the council’s decision.

She said: “We are in contention with the council.

“We are fighting the fact that it (the contract) has been terminated.

“We want clarification on what grounds it has been terminated.”

Cumbria County Council said it was unable to give further details for the reason the firm’s contract was cancelled.

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