ANOTHER Huddersfield organisation has been hit by minibus rules.
A care home is claiming the law surrounding minibus licensing is unfair.
The Astley Grange home, off Woodhouse Hill at Fartown has had to remove six seats from its 14-seat minibus, on orders from Transport Department inspectors.
Its driver, Alan Beaumont, had thought he was entitled to drive the vehicle because his licence allows him to drive a vehicle with up to 17 seats.
But the law says that if a vehicle with more than nine seats is being driven for ``hire or reward" the driver must have passenger carrying vehicle entitlement on their licence.
Mr Beaumont - the only person who drives the bus at Astley Grange - does not have this.
He did not think the bus was being driven for hire or reward, as the home does not charge extra for providing the minibus.
Mr Beaumont was shocked when he was approached in a car park by a department inspector.
He said: "They spotted the vehicle in a car park.
"I was just coming back to it when the chap was looking round and he said I should have a PCV licence.
"We don't charge extra for the use of the minibus, but they say that we charge for residents to stay at the home and the minibus is part of the facilities, so we need a licence.
"It's crazy. We are only allowed eight passengers now, but the vehicle is exactly the same size. If I didn't know how to drive it before I still wouldn't be able to drive it now.
"Fortunately, I have a HGV Class 1 licence. I'm used to driving big vehicles."
Mr Beaumont said his employers decided against sending him for the PCV test, because of the large cost.
Instead, they agreed to remove the seats, which means fewer residents can be taken for appointments and day trips.
Mr Beaumont said: "We have almost halved the number of residents we can take on day trips.
"But the cost of training is too horrendous. Our company has 200 homes. I am the only driver at our home, but at others they share it. That means at least one person at each home would have to take the test. You are talking about thousands of pounds."
The situation echoes that highlighted in the Examiner earlier this month, when Fixby day nursery Bella Bambinos complained that the same law was affecting business.
The nursery staff used to have two 17-seater minibuses to take children to and from home or nursery.
None of the staff thought they needed a PCV licence, because they do not charge extra for the minibus service.
Mr Beaumont said the clause must be hitting many businesses across the UK.
He said: "It will affect day nurseries, care homes, hotels - all kinds of businesses all over the country.
"It seems a bit unfair."