24 August 2008

A little more on the Alton coach crash

Routeone's 'e-update' had a well-written and concise description of the current-day operation of the company involved in the coach crash at Alton last week, possibly because their office is based just up the road from Whittlesey. We've re-printed the details below:

The coach was operated by Decker Bus, of Whittlesey, near Peterborough. It was working a private hire from Lutton Farm, near Peterborough, carrying migrant farm workers on a day trip to Alton Towers.

In 2007, Decker Bus Company of South Mimms, Herts, took over contracted work previously undertaken by Reliance Coaches (Alec Head) of Lutton after the partners - June Head, Tony Head and Sandra Johns - had their 25-vehicle O-Licence revoked and they were disqualified from holding an O-licence for three years. It followed their fifth appearance at a Public Inquiry in six years where vehicle maintenance was an issue.

Subsequently, Anthea Head, trading as Decker Bus, successfully applied for a 10-vehicle O-Licence, based at the same Lutton site. The operation moved from Lutton to Whittlesey on 14 July, around the same time that the contracted relationship with the South Mimms-based Decker Bus Company, run by Tony Relph, expired and there is no now connection between the two similarly-named companies.

Through contacts in the area the LEYTR Editorial can reveal the driver as being called Richard Lane, 63, from Stilton near Peterborough. He was described by a fellow employee as being "a top bloke". We await with interest the outcome of the investigation into how the crash happened.

Anthea Head, the current O-Licence holder, is the wife of Tony Head, one of the disqualified former O-Licence holders. Tony and June Head, along with Sandra Johns, are all permitted to work for the company but not in a managerial capacity. This was raised when Anthea Head applied for her 10-vehicle O-Licence earlier this year.