Disqualification for Transport Manager who ran international journeys without authority

A transport manager who carried out international journeys on a standard national licence has been disqualified from the industry.

Richard Harrison, of Blaby, lost his repute following a public inquiry before Traffic Commissioner, Richard Turfitt, in Cambridge last month.

The industry regulator said Harrison would have to comply with rehabilitation measures if he planned to regain his repute and have the disqualification order removed.

He had previously been given a formal warning at a public inquiry in 2014, as a result of maintenance shortcomings.

At the latest hearing, Turfitt also made an order against the operator licence holder, Richard Engelgardt, curtailing his vehicle authorisation from 11 to seven for 14 days.

The  Traffic  Commissioner  held  his  decision  on  whether  to  allow  an application to upgrade the licence from standard national to international, pending  receipt  of  an  audit  (to be undertaken by 30 September) and the appointment  of  a  new transport manager, Serena Kirk-Housley. He reminded the operator and proposed Transport Manger of the responsibilities outlined in the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Document on transport managers.

Turfitt said: “The STC’s Statutory Document on transport managers was reissued earlier this year and provides, for the first time, a role description for transport managers. It is absolutely essential that transport managers know what their responsibilities are and that standard operators know what their TMs should be doing to satisfy professional competence for the licence.

“As regulators, we want to educate and inform the industry about this vital role. We cannot stress enough the importance of the statutory duties held by a transport manager. They are directly responsible for achieving compliance – continuous and effective responsibility means what it says.”

The case came to the attention of the Traffic Commissioner after a Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) traffic examiner found that Harrison had undertaken four journeys out of the UK while operating under Engelgardt’s licence.

Investigations revealed that Mr Harrison had collected vehicles from Aston Martin in Gaydon and delivered them to the Nurburgring in Germany on 14 May 2015. Mr Harrison returned to the UK with a further vehicle on 18 May 2015.

Mr Harrison was interviewed about the offences and told the examiner that the operator licence holder, Mr Engelgardt, had not been aware of the journeys. He was away when the international work took place.

The examiner also questioned Mr Harrison about removing his digi-card from the vehicle tachograph unit when he ended his journeys in Germany on 14 May and 15 May. The display asked if the driver was in the UK and Mr Harrison incorrectly confirmed that he was. During the interview, he told the examiner that he did not see the message and pressed OK because that is what he did while driving in the UK.

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