Skip operator disqualified after public inquiry

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A skip operator has been disqualified from running vehicles for six months.

Richard Mutton knowingly drove for 19 months without the driver CPC qualification and also committed a large number of offences of driving for more than 4.5 hours without a break.

These actions led London and South East Traffic Commissioner, Nicholas Denton, to conclude Mutton was not a reputable operator.

He also found that the firm’s transport manager, John Bushnell, had shown a “shocking degree of ignorance” and had “clearly made no effort to keep up to date with changing legislation or other developments”.

He said Bushnell’s almost total ignorance of the rules allowed the operator to drive without the required CPC for 19 months. He did not realise there was an issue until it was brought to his attention after a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) roadside encounter.

Bushnell had also failed to make checks of the operator’s tachograph charts and did not identify a change of entity that led Mr Mutton to operate as a limited company under a sole trader licence.

In a written decision issued after a public inquiry in July, Denton noted that Mutton had attended five public inquiries in his six years of operating.

“Since the most recent public inquiry in 2014 he has changed entity without informing me and without applying for a new licence,” he said.

“He has driven an HGV on an almost a daily basis for 19 months without the legally required driver CPC, only undertaking the necessary final two modules of training after he had been stopped on 28 April 2016. He continued to drive an HGV during the intervening period.

“His explanation that he ‘needed to continue to provide for his family’ demonstrates that he is prepared to put his own personal interests and convenience before the need to comply with the law relating to the safe and professional driving of vehicles.

“Actions speak louder than words; Mr Mutton has shown that, if push comes to shove, he is quite prepared to operate outside of the law over an extended period of time.”

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