Dundee’s largest bus firm will be the focus of a public inquiry today which will examine why a driver shortage forced the widespread cancellation of services across the city.
Xplore Dundee bosses will have to explain to Joan Aitken, the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, why the firm experienced what it called a “temporary driver shortage” in September.
The Traffic Commissioner is a government body responsible for the licensing and regulation of bus operators and the registration of bus services in Scotland.
Xplore was forced to call upon parent company National Express to draft in drivers from Birmingham to cope with demand.
However, the Tele understands that dozens of services were also cancelled at short notice.
Following several months of gathering evidence, the commissioner has agreed to hold a public inquiry in Dundee at the Ashton Hall, within the Caird Hall today, starting at 10am.
At the inquiry, Xplore is expected to explain why the driver shortage came about, the steps it took to rectify it and to explain how any sanctions could affect its business.
If any wrongdoing is found, sanctions can range from a formal warning through to reducing the number of buses the company can run or even revoking its licence.
The inquiry was launched following feedback from customers through action group Bus Users Scotland. A complaint was also lodged by a member of the public in September.
It will be the second dealing Xplore has had with the Traffic Commissioner in less than a year.
The firm was fined £8,700 in June over separate complaints made about buses not running to their published timetables.
In that case, the commissioner did not opt to pursue an inquiry.
Christine McGlasson, managing director of Xplore Dundee, previously pledged she would be prepared to “outline the situation” to the commissioner.