Ban for M62 minibus owner and operator

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The owner of the minibus involved in the M62 hen party collision has been banned from working as a transport manager after a public inquiry was launched following the crash.

Ghulam Shabbir was given the ten-year ban by the Traffic Commissioner for the North East of England and lost his ‘repute’ – a sanction imposed by the commissioner – in June this year, but details of the decision were not made fully public until last week when criminal proceedings were completed.

Mr Shabbir previously traded as Prestige 2000 but had his licence revoked for his financial standing in 1999 and again on the grounds of maintenance in 2003, when he was trading as West Yorkshire Coach Co Limited.

At the time of the crash in April 2013, Mr Shabbir was working as a transport manager under his daughter Sarah Hussain’s licence. The inquiry ruled that it was ‘highly unlikely such a licence would ever have been granted to him in his own right’.

Miss Hussain has had her licence revoked and has been banned from applying for, or holding, an operator’s licence for seven years while her brother (and Mr Shabbir’s son) Mohammed Zaheer Shabbir also had his operator’s licence revoked and was banned from applying for another for five years. Both have lost their good reputation.

Miss Hussain and Mohammed Zaheer’s businesses were run under the trading name of Prestige 2000, the elder Mr Shabbir’s partnership business. The inquiry ruled that Miss Hussain had never operated the licence and it was instead controlled by her father. It also ruled that Mohammed Zaheer was not operating his licence, that vehicles were not kept fit and serviced, that an out-of-date licence disc was used and more vehicles were driven than authorised by the operator’s licence.

Traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney said in the report: “It is absolutely clear from all the evidence that all these operations have been his (Ghulam Shabbir’s) and his alone. They have allowed him an early return to the PSV industry and that return was clearly premature.”

The driver of the minibus, James Johnson, had his own operator’s licence revoked in July 2013 for using uninsured vehicles. The investigation, which was unrelated to the M62 crash, was launched after a wheel fell off one of his vehicles in October 2012. The region’s traffic commissioner described his commercial transport operation as ‘one of the worst I have come across’.