Threat to bus companies

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland Joan Aitken plans to revoke the licence of both James King Coaches in Kirkcowan and ABC Travel (Castle Douglas) Ltd, of which James King is a director, in July.

Damien Currie the Media Officer for the Traffic Commissioner in Scotland told The Galloway Gazette: “Following a public inquiry on May 2, in Edinburgh, Joan Aitken issued a written decision to both operators. As a result of the failure of both businesses to meet the mandatory financial standing requirements, Miss Aitken made orders to revoke their licences.

“Her decision means both operations will come to an end at 23:59 on Friday 11 July 2014.

“ABC Travel (Castle Douglas) Ltd operates eight local bus services. James King trading as James King Coaches operates 10 local bus services.

Commenting on the news, Galloway MP Russell Brown said: “There may well still be appeals to be considered but it is deeply disappointing that a family firm looks set to close. It will affect staff who may lose their jobs and also users of their services. In a region like ours, a large number of local people are dependent on public transport to go to work or to do their shopping and of course for children to get to school, so losing such services in a rural area could have a significant impact. I know that the council and SWESTRANs are working hard behind the scenes to look at alternative provision to at least partly fill any gap that would arise by the loss of this firm.”

When contacted by the Gazette James King said he was appealing through the legal process.