November 6, 2013 14:57

Public investigation to be held into travel firm following fatal Bestival crash

Date set for inquiry into Merseypride Travel following 2012 incident

Public investigation to be held into travel firm following fatal Bestival crash

Photo: Jenn Five/NME

A public inquiry into a travel company has been ordered following a crash that killed three people leaving Bestival in 2012.

Festival-goers Michael Molloy, 18, (pictured right) and Kerry Ogden, 23, as well as the driver of the coach, 63-year-old Colin Daulby, were killed leaving the festival, in September 2012. BBC News today reports that the Traffic Commission have confirmed a public inquiry into Merseypride Travel will take place on December 16.

Reports at the time stated that the 51-seater coach was going north on the A3 in Surrey when the crash happened near the Hindhead Tunnel at 11.50pm (BST). The coach veered off the carriageway between the tunnel and the Thursley exit and hit a tree. No other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Merseypride Transport's passenger transport licence and company boss Tracey Hannell's repute and professional competence will be considered at the hearing next month, which will take place at at the commissioner's office in Goldborne near Warrington. The commissioner has powers to curtail, suspend or revoke an operator's licence.

"The office of the Traffic Commissioner has been notified of convictions recorded against a partner named on the operator licence held by David Hannell and Tracey Hannell trading as Merseypride," a spokesman said. "These offences were referred to the Traffic Commissioner for the north west of England, Beverley Bell, who determined that the matters should be examined at a public inquiry."

In August, Merseypride Travel boss Hannell was prosecuted and fined £4,300 after it was revealed that the crash was caused by a 20 year old tyre bursting on the coach. The fine came after Hannell was found guilty of allowing the use of a vehicle with a tyre with ply or cord exposed and permitting the number of passengers to exceed the number of seats on the vehicle.

Bestival 2012 took place from September 6-9 and featured headline sets from New Order, Florence And The Machine and Stevie Wonder.

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