PUBLIC transport firm First Bus has been told it could be stripped of its licence to operate in South Cheshire after a report alleged its fleet was unfit for service.
The future of the company, which carries thousands of passengers across Crewe, Nantwich and Sand-bach, is uncertain following a two-day public inquiry.
The hearing heard evidence that First Bus failed to keep its fleet of vehicles in a 'fit and serviceable' condition and failed to carry out regular safety inspections.
The West Midlands traffic commissioner David Dixon will now decide whether the evidence warrants him revoking or suspending the firm's licence, or varying its conditions.
If the licence is revoked, Mr Dixon could disqualify the company or its officers from holding an operator's licence for a set period or indefinitely.
This is the second time the firm has faced an investigation into its maintenance record in the region after an inquiry into maintenance at its Chester base last August.
That resulted in no action being taken, but union leaders say they view these fresh allegations against the company with 'grave concern'.
Transport and General regional industrial organiser Neil Salter said: 'For the T&G nothing is more important than the health and safety of our members while they are at work.
'We, therefore view, with grave concern, the allegations that have been made and look to the transport commission to investigate them thor-oughly.'
The result of the inquiry is expected to be known in about a month.
First Bus is involved in an industrial dispute which has seen about 400 bus drivers balloted on taking strike action over pay and conditions.
The firm's managing director Julie Roy, and finance director Chris Hull are both due to leave the firm, while engineering director Jim Flynn has already left.
A spokesman for First Bus declined to comment.