Sadness as operator loses licence in centenary year
Northern England-based Hobans 1923, which this year marks its centenary, has had its PCV licence revoked.
The licence had been lost through an ‘avoidable technicality’, according to the company. The loss means the business is no longer able to provide home-to-school services, affecting three schools, as well as a number of other private contracts. In a Facebook post, the operator said: “All schools and parents affected by this have been contacted directly and alternatives have been provided where possible.”
Hobans Group is appealing the decision to revoke its Standard International licence for 15 vehicles, which took effect on 25 October 2023.
“Hobans has been taking children to and from school for many years, so to have the PSV part of our business grounded so suddenly on an avoidable technicality has saddened every member of the Hobans team” – Hobans statement
The Facebook statement said: “Hobans has been taking children to and from school for many years, so to have the PSV part of our business grounded so suddenly on an avoidable technicality has saddened every member of the Hobans team, however, as a professional operator we must adhere to this and will provide further updates as soon as we have them.”
Reason for revocation
Hobans was called to a public inquiry in front of Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England, Gerallt Evans, on 12 June 2023. The Public Inquiry had its origin in a wheel loss incident on 4 January 2023 reported by the operator. The vehicle examiner found the wheel involved had not been correctly secured on its spigot, which was worn. The vehicle passed its annual test on 23 December 2022 and the wheel loss occurred on its first day back in service after the Christmas interval. On being satisfied sufficiently strong measures were in place for wheel security and that a recurrence is less likely, the Traffic Commissioner took no further action in relation to it.
However, it was found that Hobans no longer satisfied the requirement of financial standing. A period of grace was given for financial standing to be shown until 30 September 2023. The Office of the Traffic Commissioners has confirmed Hobans 1923 has not met undertakings at the public inquiry, resulting in their licence being revoked.
Serving Cumbria and the north east, Hobans has a fleet ranging from 12 to 80 seats, providing home-to-school transport, adult social care, self-drive vehicles and funeral services.
Hobans was unable to speak to B&CB before publishing.