A Northumberland-based coach company and a number of its drivers have appeared in court today charged with falsifying driver records as part of a conspiracy.
Howard Snaith Coach Travel, which is based in Otterburn, runs a number of school and public bus services across the county.
It is alleged that between June 1, 2010, and May 13, 2013, HJ Snaith and Partners, trading as HJ Snaith, as well as a number of members of staff, did knowingly make false driver records in contravention of EC regulations as part of a conspiracy.
Summons were issued following an investigation by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), which has brought the prosecution, and the charges relate to tachograph charts, which record drivers’ working hours.
All of the accused appeared at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court this morning, but the nature of the conspiracy charge means that the case must be dealt with at the crown court.
None of the 20 defendants entered a plea and the case was adjourned to Tuesday, March 18, at 10am, when a plea and case management hearing will take place at Newcastle Crown Court.