A transport manager’s sustained neglect of his duties and lack of honesty in dealings with Government inspectors has led to a two-year disqualification from the industry.
Marc Byrne – who by his own admission failed over an extended period of time to exercise continuous and effective management – will not be able to act as a transport manager anywhere in the EU as a result of the order.
Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton remarked that the period of disqualification was in line with previous decisions for TMs who have “simply failed to do their job”.
At a public inquiry in Birmingham which concluded on October 3, the industry regulator heard that Byrne had been stopped by Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) and found to be driving without the necessary driver certificate of professional competence qualification.
Tachograph charts revealed Byrne had also driven for five hours and 35 minutes without a qualifying break and had been using a chart for more than the maximum permitted 24 hours. Further analysis of driving records revealed other issues.
In addition, during an interview with DVSA, Byrne held himself out to be a director of the company holding the operator’s licence – The Grange Removal Co. Companies House records revealed that he was not a director of the firm.
In evidence to the hearing, Byrne said he had checked with the HGV training provider that he was qualified to drive and they had not mentioned the need to acquire driver CPC.
He admitted he had taken his eye off the ball and failed to analyse tachograph data, accepting that some of it was missing.
Reviewing the findings, which also included issues with maintenance records presented on the day of the hearing, the Traffic Commissioner said that as a transport manager, Byrne should have been aware of the requirement to possess a CPC in order to drive a HGV professionally.
“A reputable transport manager should be setting an example to other drivers in his use of tachographs, rather than committing a 4.5 hours office and driving (on several days in November) without making any kind of drivers’ hours record,” said Denton.
The Traffic Commissioner also concluded that The Grange Removal Co was a “spectacularly ill-managed company”, as directors Laurence Byrne and Paul Byrne had in effect been retired for several years and taken no management role in the business. A third director, Mary Byrne, had sadly passed away earlier in the year.
Suspending the firm’s licence for four weeks from December 4 2017, he said: “There needs to be a ground-up review of compliance with drivers’ hours and maintenance requirements.”
Denton also made an order to curtail the company’s operator’s licence to three vehicles (from eight) with immediate effect.
The Grange Removal Co has until January 2 2018 to nominate a new transport manager and satisfy the mandatory professional competence requirement.