Charlton cash and carry firm close to losing transport licence on safety failings

A Charlton cash and carry firm has served a 28 day transport suspension because it had no systems in place to comply with vehicle and driver safety standards. 

Nick Denton, the region’s Traffic Commissioner, told Ades Cash and Carry that it had come very close to losing its licence to operate commercial vehicles last month. 

His decision to suspend the licence meant the business, which holds an HGV operating licence in the name of Ades Ltd, was not able to run any vehicles over 3.5 tonnes between 26 September and 26 October.  

The industry regulator also made an order to cut the number of vehicles authorised on the company’s licence indefinitely. As a result, the business can only use one vehicle to transport goods. 

During a public inquiry in Eastbourne, Denton heard that the company had:

  • No system in place for downloading tachograph data from either the vehicle unit or driver card  
  • Not given vehicles routine safety inspections – a vehicle specified on the licence was only inspected once in 10 months, when it was supposed to be checked every 12 weeks 
  • Not ensured drivers completed their daily defect checks on vehicles 
  • Missed a tachograph calibration deadline and operated an overloaded vehicle

The Traffic Commissioner also found that although these matters were pointed out to the company by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), it did not take any substantive action.  

“Even today , it is clear that the company itself has an insufficient grasp of the regulatory requirements.  

“I consider that a suspension of 28 days is required in order for the company’s director and other key personnel to acquire the necessary knowledge and practical understanding. Even after the suspension, I would only be content for the operator to run at the reduced level of one vehicle.  

“It needs to demonstrate, over a period of time, that it can run one vehicle compliantly before I could agree to lift the curtailment.” 

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