A mother and son who ran a Bradford coach travel firm which went bust owing customers almost £200,000 have been disqualified for a combined 21 years from acting as directors for failing to protect customer money paid up-front for holidays and travel.

Gail Bottomley and her son Darren Bottomley, were directors of coach travel firm Gain Travel Experience Ltd, which was based in Fair Road, Wibsey, Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Gail Bottomley, 63, and Darren Bottomley, 43, have given undertakings to the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills not to manage or control a limited company for a period of 11 years and ten years respectively, effective from April 22.

The probe showed that Gain Travel Experience Ltd began trading in the mid-1980s as a coach tour operator.

As a tour operator offering holidays which included overnight stays, the company was bound by The Package Tour Regulations 1992, which are meant to protect customers by ensuring money paid for deposits and holidays are held in secure accounts.

The Bottomleys were aware of these regulations but from at least September 2011, failed to protect advance payments by securing it in this way.

When the company was placed into liquidation in June 2012, there were 653 customers who had paid up front and lost a total of almost £220,000.

Robert Clarke, head of Insolvent Investigations North, which is part of the Insolvency Service said: “In this case, a significant number of elderly customers have been left out of pocket thanks to the Bottomleys’ disregard of protective legislation and it is appropriate that their disqualification is for a significant period of time.”