A transport firm contracted to work on the Aberdeen bypass will be banned from running vehicles at the end of this month, Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner has concluded.
Joan Aitken ruled that Allen Transport will lose its HGV operating licence on May 30 and be disqualified from applying for or holding another licence for two years.
She also disqualified director Daniel Allen from doing the same for two years – as well as making a separate order to prevent him from acting as a transport manager.
Her decisions follow a public inquiry in Edinburgh in March, where she heard the company had used vehicles for a contract in Scotland when they were only authorised to operate out of a base in England.
Under licensing laws, vehicles added to a transport licence have to be kept at the premises which is approved on that licence. They are supposed to return to that site when not in use.
Allen Transport began work on the Aberdeen bypass in April 2015 and subsequently took on additional duties.
They needed extra vehicles to complete this work but their transport licence in Scotland didn’t allow them to run more without making an application to the Traffic Commissioner first.
To complete the work, the firm used its transport licence in London, moving those vehicles up to Scotland.
The vehicles were then permanently based in Scotland and didn’t return to the authorised base in London. This meant the vehicles were operating in breach of the London transport licence.
Having heard evidence from the company during the public inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner concluded that Mr Allen was responsible for the deployment of the vehicle resource to Aberdeenshire.
“This was not incidental behaviour or the ignorant act of, say a traffic controller, lower in the management chain of responsibility but the act of the director transport manager,” she said. “I cannot find it to be oversight.”
She added that the degree of work available on the Aberdeen bypass and holding another licence with vehicle authority was an “irresistible temptation” for Mr Allen.
Making an order to revoke the company’s Scottish licence from 11.59pm on May 30, the Traffic Commissioner said if she hadn’t done so it would have sent a very odd message to all those businesses who dutifully respect the fundamentals of operator licensing.