Brendan recommending an unlicensed bus service

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cerbera

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Has anyone else got the Patten Flyer?


According to The Irish Times on Friday, the owner applied for a license back in June 2006. As no decision had been made by July 2007, he started the service without a license. The day after he started, he got a letter from The Department of Transport telling him to desist. The Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, has asked the Gardai to close down the service.

Brendan
Brendan, are you promoting an illegal service, however fickle or bad the service is from the Dept of Transport is, the service is still not licensed and illegal. You have closed down threads and discussions on illegal services and products. So why start one????
 

Brendan Burgess

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Hi Cerbera

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. You raise an interesting issue, which, frankly, I had not even considered.

My understanding is that the Patten Flyer has made every effort to comply with the legislation by applying for a license. If the Department of Transport is unable to respond to them within a year, then I would personally be happy to use an unlicensed service.

I have traveled on it a few times now and there is obviously a very big consumer demand for the service.

It is not like condoning tax evasion where you are damaging the public interest. Promoting a service which is of great value to consumers is what Askaboutmoney is for. It should not be held back by bureaucracy.

I would have to reconsider, if the Department of Transport refused them a license.
 

efm

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Brendan,

That is an interesting approach to interpreting the laws of this country. As I understand it from the info in your posts, this service is unlicensed - whether you agree with the reasons for it being unlicensed or not, is, in my opinion, irrelevant; it remains unlicensed and is therefore breaking the law.

Also, are there any other considerations that need to be taken into account because of the illegal nature of this operation e.g. is it adequately and properly covered by insurance, would ones consumer rights be protected in the event of a dispute because the service is illegal etc?
 

ubiquitous

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Breaches of licensing laws are commonplace in this country. It would be silly imho to label a business as a tax evader and advocate a boycott of their trade if they were successfully prosecuted for a breach of performance rights legislation or TV licence legislation. The private transport sector in Ireland has been hampered for many decades by inefficiencies within its State regulatory framework, inefficiencies that have played into the hands of the monopoly or dominant operators which are owned by the State itself. The types of reforms that took place in the aviation sector since the 1980s never happened in the private transport sector and will not do so until the unions' power in the sector is curbed or crushed. The story of the Patten Flyer people having to wait more than a year for a licence is not uncommon.
 

ClubMan

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Regardless of the issues raised in Brendan's "defence" above I personally can certainly see cerebra's point on this matter. When push comes to shove I would agree with him/her.
 

efm

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Breaches of licensing laws are commonplace in this country.
Does that make it ok then if everyone does it?

It would be silly imho to label a business as a tax evader and advocate a boycott of their trade if they were successfully prosecuted for a breach of performance rights legislation or TV licence legislation.
I'm not sure that IMRO or An Post would agree - both bodies have sucessfully prosecuted businesses and individuals for breaches of licensing laws.

Anyway, I think that the licence required for a bus service is more fundamental to the business than a TV licence - eg a pub can operate without a TV but it can't operate without a liqour licence
 
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cerbera

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So Brendan if I am understand you correctly you disagree with process and procedures which is in place in this country?? Would you get into a car in the sity centre which had a cardboard "TAXI" sign on the roof and say "Airport Please" just because the driver had told you he was "waiting on a licence"....... I think not, no difference in the "patten flyer".... He is not licenced, not legal and therefore not insured... Which is putting himself, passengers and other road users in danger. Which is a lot of people, if he were a private car driver he would be summonsed to court and possibly in the current trend of the courts JAILED. You, as a passenger, don't know the full story as to why he hasn't got a licence nor have seen all correspondence between himself and the relevant Department.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Presumably I would be free to recommend a particular pub or resaurant if they have been convicted of not having a TV license. That would not be material.

Would it be wrong to recommend a pub which had no alcohol license?

I think that the Patton Flyer is a good service, but if they had no insurance, then it would be a very bad service. I assume that they are insured.

I presume that the Patton Flyer complies with all insurance, tax and other rules. They have tried to comply with the bus licensing laws, but have been unable to do so. I really don't think that is their fault.
 

ubiquitous

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Does that make it ok then if everyone does it?
To be frank, Yes - at least in sectors where is strong reason to believe that inefficiencies in licensing administration are being used by the State to promote their own operators' monopolies or dominant market positions.

I'm not sure that IMRO or An Post would agree
That is their entitlement. As it is my entitlement to disagree with them. That said if either IMRO or An Post were "to label a business as a tax evader and advocate a boycott of their trade" on the basis of a conviction for a licensing offence, then they would imho be widely exposed to defamation proceedings.

a pub can operate without a TV but it can't operate without a liqour licence
A surprising number do.
 

ClubMan

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I think that the Patton Flyer is a good service, but if they had no insurance, then it would be a very bad service. I assume that they are insured.
From what I've read this is a questionable point - i.e. whether the lack of a (route?) license impacts their insurance status.
They have tried to comply with the bus licensing laws, but have been unable to do so. I really don't think that is their fault.
What evidence is there to support this assertion?
 
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cerbera

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Presumably I would be free to recommend a particular pub or resaurant if they have been convicted of not having a TV license. That would not be material.


I presume that the Patton Flyer complies with all insurance, tax and other rules. They have tried to comply with the bus licensing laws, but have been unable to do so. I really don't think that is their fault.
They are not Licenced to operate by the Department of Transport, therefore the lack of a proper operating licence would invalidate their insurance. They want to operate but can't obtain a licence so there has to be a good reason, and if it is simply a case of incompetence by the DOT, well let him go through the appropriate channels, like anyone else. CIE, Air coach and other reputable companies are licenced, they obviously had to wait aswell at some point in time so why should this company be any different. Its the same with any service that has to be licenced by the government in this country, it takes time, lots of time.
 

ubiquitous

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From what I've read this is a questionable point - i.e. whether the lack of a (route?) license impacts their insurance status.
Highly unlikely, in my opinion. It is impossible to tax a car unless its insurance is up to date. A private motorist can insure a car even if its tax (technically its vehicle licence) is out of date. A major catch-22 would apply otherwise.
 

flattea2

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Would whatever insurance they have not be void on the basis they do not operate a licenced service?

Be interested in how they got insurance and what the insurers take is on it.

Sorry just noticed this point has been made.
 
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ubiquitous

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Would whatever insurance they have not be void on the basis they do not operate a licenced service?

Be interested in how they got insurance and what the insurers take is on it.
If they did not disclose their licence difficulty to their insurers, then they would be uninsured. If this fact was disclosed, it should not affect their insured status.

In this day and age, I could not imagine the Dept of Transport and the Gardai tolerating for a minute any party operating a passenger transport service without the appropriate insurance. The fact that they are being allowed to trade would suggest to me that they do have this insurance.

I also know for a fact that the lack of a pub licence does not invalidate the pub's public liability insurance. This happens regularly where the licensee's tax affairs are not in order and cannot get a tax clearance cert that is needed for licence renewal.
 
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cerbera

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In this day and age, I could not imagine the Dept of Transport and the Gardai tolerating for a minute any party operating a passenger transport service without the appropriate insurance. The fact that they are being allowed to trade would suggest to me that they do have this insurance.
This is where this discussion comes from, in his original post Brendan stated that the DOT had instructed the Gardai to shut down the service as they were not licenced. If you do not disclose to you insurer's anything which may affect your insurance which later turns out to be matrial in an offer or refusal of insurance is a breach, and therefore invalidates your policy. e.g penalty points, endorsements, lack of an operating licence etc... The onus is on the proposer to disclose any and all facts relevant to an insurance application.
 

ubiquitous

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This is where this discussion comes from, in his original post Brendan stated that the DOT had instructed the Gardai to shut down the service as they were not licenced.
Indeed, but as I said, can you imagine the Gardai tolerating for a minute any party operating a passenger transport service without the appropriate insurance?
If you do not disclose to you insurer's anything which may affect your insurance which later turns out to be matrial in an offer or refusal of insurance is a breach, and therefore invalidates your policy. e.g penalty points, endorsements, lack of an operating licence etc... The onus is on the proposer to disclose any and all facts relevant to an insurance application.
Indeed, but as I said, if this fact was disclosed, it should not affect their insured status
 

ClubMan

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To be honest there is a lot of speculation in this thread that does not help with identification and discussion of the relevant issues. In particular from where I'm sitting it's not clear what specific license they may be lacking and what impact this might have on their insurance status.
 
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cerbera

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Do we know he did disclose it to his insurer's??? NO... We do know he has no operating licence. If he did disclose it I would strongly think that he would be refused insurance as noinsurance company in their right mind would take on an unlicenced operator.
 

Brendan Burgess

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Folks

This is a very interesting issue which I do want to see teased out.

Please make a special effort to be civil so that we don't go too far off thread.

Thanks
 
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