Crosville ordered to scale back its operation after serious mechanical failures

PUBLISHED: 11:55 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:47 05 July 2017

Crosville has launched a new service to Weston General Hospital.

Crosville has launched a new service to Weston General Hospital.

Crosville Motor Services

A public inquiry surrounding Crosville Motor Services found its buses had 'serious mechanical failures' and the company has been accused of 'putting lives at risk'.

Crosville has now overhauled its management team and made changes to the maintenance of its buses and vows it will ‘continue to keep passengers safe’.

The company was called to an inquiry in front of Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney on June 29 after the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) raised concerns about its vehicle maintenance.

TC Rooney’s findings say the DVSA issued ‘a very significant’ number of roadside prohibitions – which highlight faults which make a vehicle dangerous – to Crosville and described the continued use of vehicles with ‘recurring defects’ as ‘unacceptable’.

At the hearing he was told a half-shaft and a pair of wheels almost fell off one bus, as a direct result of poor maintenance.

At the inquiry, TC Rooney questioned why buses had been logged as in use after drivers had marked them as defective.

He said: “I want to know why lives were put at risk.”

But the commissioner then heard how the hybrid bus had gone into ‘limp mode’. The mode can mean a vehicle slows down and sometimes it means it cannot be driven, but the mode itself is not dangerous.

TC Rooney has now ordered Crosville to reduce the number of buses in its fleet.

He praised the company for providing him with extensive information during the inquiry and said using an in-house maintenance team with certified fitting staff is a positive step.

But he added: “Vehicles have suffered serious mechanical failures, including the near detachment of a half-shaft and a pair of road wheels. That case arose directly from poor maintenance.

“The established management systems have proven themselves inadequate for the current fleet size. A reduction in fleet size of one third is appropriate, at least temporarily.”

Crosville’s managing director Jonathan Jones-Pratt said Crosville ‘fully engaged’ with the inquiry.

He told the Mercury the inquiry focused largely on an external contractor which failed to check the oil level of one bus following major repairs.

Mr Jones-Pratt added: “We have removed all external engineering contract suppliers and have instead resourced internally so all engineering services are provided in-house, at our Winterstoke Road depot.

“We have appointed a new managing director, Chris Hilditch, who will be supported by Chris Jones our transport manager to ensure we embrace best practice and continue to keep our passengers safe, as we have done through the years serving the Weston area.”

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