Illegal vehicle operations delay grant of transport licence until January 2018

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A potato merchant will not be given permission to operate HGVs until January 2018, industry regulator Nick Denton has ruled.

The West Midlands Traffic Commissioner told Gary Williams that the decision was a mark of his dissatisfaction at the company’s failure to comply with commercial vehicle operating rules.

He also said Williams had to attend an operator licence management course and required the company to employ a transport manager, even though that is not a mandatory requirement for the type of licence it applied for (restricted).

The company has to submit a contract with the proposed transport manager by December 22 or the application will be refused.

Following a public inquiry on October 24 in Birmingham, the regulator accepted that Williams thought arrangements with another operator, David Harper, were acceptable on a temporary basis. But he said that Williams should have taken a moment to reflect and realised that at no time could Harper have been considered the operator of the vehicles
“Even though it was the de facto operator of two vehicles, the applicant exercised no control over drivers’ hours, with the result that one driver working for it has been committing numerous and serious infringements,” said Denton.

“There are also large amounts of missing mileage. There are large gaps in the vehicles’ maintenance records.”
The Traffic Commissioner gave credit to Williams for being honest about the arrangements but said that he could not be confident about the company applying the rules correctly if a licence was issued now – without the employment of a CPC qualified transport manager.

The operator’s licence held by David Harper, who also attended a public inquiry on the same day, will be revoked on November 21. Harper will be disqualified for three months from the same period. In addition to lending his licence, Harper had also failed to carry out any downloads of driver cards or the vehicle unit and had large gaps in his maintenance records.

Denton described this as “astonishing” given that he is also a maintainer of HGVs.

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