A transport manager has been disqualified from the industry for two years by the East of England traffic commissioner, Richard Turfitt.
He ruled that serious convictions had undermined Justin Ffrench’s ability to exercise management of the drivers.
The regulator also concluded that Ffrench, director and transport manager of J Ffrench Ltd, was ignorant of the most serious infringements and guidance in the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.
Ffrench failed to demonstrate the benefits of attending a two day seminar for HGV transport managers and operators during a public inquiry in Cambridge, Turfitt added.
As a result, he will not be able to act as a transport manager in any EU member state for two years, after losing his repute.
The public inquiry was called after DVSA examiners stopped one of the company’s vehicles on 10 November 2015. The vehicle was not displaying a valid licence disc and had not been specified on the licence.
A DVSA traffic examiner also identified that the vehicle was over-weight and the driver had failed to use a tachograph card.
The vehicle attracted a prohibition for three immediate defects and the examiner concluded that a defect for obligatory spray suppression equipment missing on the nearside axle should have been detected at the first use/walk round check.
Subsequent investigations revealed additional issues, including that the operator did not have any evidence of action taken on driver infringements and the written defect reporting system was unsatisfactory.
Additionally, the vehicle examiner found that the operator had been using preventative maintenance inspection sheets with references to 1997.
In respect of Ffrench, the traffic commissioner noted that his professional driving licence recorded a number of convictions which had not been declared. This included a repeat offence of driving whilst disqualified, where he received a suspended prison sentence, community service and was disqualified from driving for a further 18 months.
At the hearing, Mr Ffrench told the regulator that the convictions had arisen because of deliberate decisions he had made. The commissioner was also made aware that the company’s FORS accreditation had been terminated due to evidence suggesting that the business had displayed a gold FORS logo when only Bronze status had been awarded. The Bronze accreditation has since been restored.
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