01 January 2010 by Shona McMasters
Bus firm “transformed” – By David McKay
New owner cleans up act of company once branded “worst seen”
An Aberdeenshire coach company once branded the “worst” an inspector had seen has undergone a remarkable turnaround under new ownership. The former Keirs Coaches (Kintore) was taken over by Kemnay Businessman Alan Findlater in November 2009 after the firms liscence was revoke in March of that year. An examiner from the vehicle and operator services agency (Vosa) described a bus that it used to transport pupils to Alford Academy as the “worst public service vehicle” he had come across on his twelve and a half years in the job.
Mr Findlater (27) has completely transformed the operation with a new licence under the name of Premier Coaches. The company has already won back contract with Aberdeenshire Council for local school runs and undergoing stringent safety and maintenance checks on its fleet of 15 vehicles. He said “We are almost a year and a half down the line and we are way ahead of our five year plan. It has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of money, but the work is coming in now.” Mr Findlater employes 18 full-time and part-time member of staff at the Hill of Cottown premises, which the company is looking to vacate for a new site shortly.
Edgar Ramage from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been running the rule over the fleet of coaches to ensure the company stays ahead of the standards required by Vosa. He said “Alan is being very proactive – a lot of times we only come in when a company is trying to save their licence. “This is a totally different situation”. Mr Findlater also runs a Deeside painting and decorating business that holds a Royal warrant as well as the Lairds Throat pub and restaurant at Kemnay.
(Article from the Press and Journal)