A transport manager who sought to mislead the West of England Traffic Commissioner has been disqualified from acting in that role for three years.
Kevin Rooney concluded the behaviour and integrity of Shaun Gilder was of significant concern.
The regulator found Gilder, transport manager for Gretton-based Gilders Transport, had not been straight with him about the use of a third party’s card by one of the company’s drivers.
In October 2014, Gilder became aware that employee Jason Treharne was using another driver’s card. Treharne was initially suspended but then reinstated in November 2014, after a company investigation did not definitely establish he had used the other driver’s card.
In February 2015, one of the company’s fleet engineers emailed a DVSA traffic examiner to say the other driver’s card has been handed back to Treharne.
In evidence to the Commissioner during a public inquiry in May, Gilder said the email made him realise this was the wrong thing to do and he intercepted the card.
But Rooney noted that the fleet engineer’s email had been written in the past tense, indicating the card had already been handed back to Treharne before the email had been written.
During an interview in July 2015, Gilder had told a traffic examiner the card was handed back to Treharne.
“There is only one explanation for these events,” the Traffic Commissioner concluded. “Mr Gilder allowed his fleet engineer to mislead the traffic examiner in February 2015 and he lied to the traffic examiner during an interview under caution in July 2015. He was not straight with me at the public inquiry.”
Rooney also ruled there was “absolutely no doubt” Gilder sought to have him believe that an overloading offence in 2016 was an error on the part of a DVSA traffic examiner.
The transport manager presided over a period when drivers were regularly falsifying records and breaking the drivers’ hours rules, with seven drivers prosecuted for a total of 61 falsifications and 17 events of failing to use a driver card or record sheet. The offending persisted over a number of months.
Ordering an indefinite 20% curtailment of the company’s fleet, Rooney gave Gilders Transport a period of grace until July 18, 2017, to appoint a new transport manager.
He said he had been impressed with the evidence of director Gordon Gilder and the commitment of potential future transport managers Catherine Gilder and Samantha Shea. He believed he could trust those individuals to run a smaller fleet compliantly, albeit with the company’s repute tarnished.
Rooney also refused an application made by the company to increase its licence authorisation.