Bus company fears sabotage plan

Eddie Coakley
Eddie Coakley
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A BUS operator is worried that his bid to build up services around Motherwell and Bellshill could be sabotaged.

Eddie Coakley has been given the go-ahead to get his buses back on the road after a ban imposed by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland was overturned.

However, he called in the police after comments hinting his vehicles would be targeted by saboteurs were posted on the internet.

Mr Coakley said: “Someone’s looking to cause problems before we get off the ground.

“It’s being suggested that people will run out in front of our buses in built-up areas and that could lead to accidents. We had to report that to the police.”

The Traffic Commissioner has given Mr Coakley permission to operate six buses months after the Transport Tribunal overturned a decision last year to strip his company of all 70 of its licences.

The licences were lost after doubts were raised about Mr Coakley’s financial standing and the ‘good repute’ operators must have.

A poster named WehateCoakley on the Bus and Coach internet forum expressed surprise that Mr Coakley has ‘made a comeback’ and warned that the buses’ performances will be monitored and any alleged offences reported to the Traffic Commissioner.

The poster added: “Me and my fellow helpers will need to pull out in front of them to get them to slow down in built-up areas and flag them down when we don’t need the bus.”

Coakley buses are now back on the road, running between Hamilton and Coatbridge - via Motherwell and Bellshill - and from Newarthill to Viewpark.

Mr Coakley said that although the services are running Monday to Saturday he intends to start Sunday services on both routes and operate into the evening.

He admitted that complaints his buses hadn’t to date provided enough off-peak services were ‘legitimate’.

Mr Coakley is now operating with smaller vehicles which are more cost effective, allowing him to put on more services.

He added: “I plan to extend the 291 Newarthill-Viewpark to the Fort shopping centre in Glasgow which isn’t on anyone’s route at the moment.”

The new services are in addition to those provided by Airbles Bus Company, which Mr Coakley also runs, and MacKenzie Coach Services, which has amalgamated with Coakley.