Erosion of trust leads to loss of transport licence

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East of England Traffic Commissioner, Richard Turfitt, has reminded the commercial vehicle industry that trust is fundamental to operator licensing, after a Kettering firm lost its licence for failing to comply with the basic requirements.

The industry regulator said that trust in Lyndon Thomas had been abused by “a lack of action and a lack of realisation”, before concluding the company was not capable of ensuring future compliance.

In a written decision, Turfitt said: “I considered carefully the impact on this operator of my intervention but all of that has to be weighed against the potential risk to safety of other road users.

“It should not take a public inquiry to go through the basic requirements such as brake testing, not when that advice has been readily available to the operator through the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness published back in April 2014.

“The operator has been far too slow to wake-up and it has only now crossed the mind of the sole director that this element of the business requires far greater compliance management.”

The regulator noted the firm’s compliance issues had arisen from ignorance rather than a deliberate attempt to avoid meeting the operator licensing requirements. But he made clear this did not lessen the impact on safety and fair competition.

“This is an operator that needs to be removed from the industry, as it cannot carry on as it has,” the Traffic Commissioner added.

“I could not wait another three months on the off-chance that the operator may comply with the basic requirements. There needs to be far more impetus on the part of the operator, so a robust message was required to mark the erosion of trust placed in this operator.”

Turfitt made an order to revoke the company’s licence with effect from 23:55 on February 12, 2018.

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