FOUR bus companies run by the same man have been banned because vehicles were not safe and passengers were left stranded.

Owner John Walker was also banned for 10 years and his firms fined £42,000.

Joan Aitken, the Traffic Commissioner For Scotland, branded bus boss John Walker a "liar" who failed to adhere to timetables and ignored legal guidelines.

Investigators found one of his fleets in Renfrewshire to be unroadworthy.

Licences for Barrhead Bus Company, First Stop Travel, Local Bus Company and Gullivers Travel have been revoked, while an application to run services under the Flying Scotsman name has been rejected.

The companies operated around 65 vehicles and had 87 staff.

Ms Aitken said: "This represents bus operating at the lowest end of what is expected of licensed operators.

"Mr Walker is lacking in integrity. I cannot trust a word he tells me now, for if he can lie about these matters what else does he lie about?

"There is an element of the fantasist in him."

Mr Walker, who was the operator and director of all the companies, was found to have made false declarations on licence applications.

He also falsely claimed Glasgow City Council had endorsed his application for Flying Scotsman Ltd.

It is understood his firms quit their base in Muriel Street, Barrhead, at the end of May.

Mr Walker has 12 buses parked in the grounds of a vehicle repair shop, called Go Diesel, in Govan. He rents space in the yard but has no connection with the firm.

A First Stop bus was parked in the yard this morning, but staff said Mr Walker was not available for comment.

The traffic commissioner heard 4.7 million passengers had travelled with the operator over a year.

A probe into the 21/4 service between Paisley and Neilston, found 130 out of 149 services breached guidelines.

Figures show 78 buses failed to turn up and 52 were significantly early or late.

Experts highlighted three issues with the brakes on First Stop vehicles, cases of worn tyres and broken windscreen wipers.

The buses mostly ran between Paisley and Glasgow City Centre, Hawkhead, Johnstone, Bridge of Weir and Neilston.

During an inquiry hearing, Mr Walker supplied a lengthy written statement to the commission.

The traffic commissioner heard his firm had deliberately targeted the successful Paisley-Glasgow route operated by Dixons of Erskine.

Mr Walker had painted his buses in a similar manner and issued tickets almost identical to the rival firm.