Traffic Commissioner criticises fleet operator for ‘wasting’ tribunal time

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A haulage firm has been criticised for wasting valuable tribunal time after failing to withdraw a public inquiry request.

Richard Turfitt, the East of England Traffic Commissioner, concluded that the actions of NCH Logistics from Leighton Buzzard had a negative impact on the resources of the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

The company failed to attend a public inquiry in Cambridge last month, despite having asked the Traffic Commissioner to hold one.

Turfitt said he was satisfied that the company’s actions – in ignoring the guidance on acceptable financial evidence and failing to seek legal advice – were not those of a responsible operator.

Remarking on the importance of fair competition to the licensing regime he said: “The resources of this office are provided through Operator licence fees, which responsible Operators are entitled to expect will be used to best effect.

“At no point did the Operator or its Directors seek to withdraw the request for a Public Inquiry. In pursuing that request they incurred valuable tribunal time which might equally have been deployed to the hearing of other cases, including those seeking to enter the industry and who are willing to comply with the terms of the Operator licensing system, including undertakings given at grant.”

NCH Logistics requested a public inquiry after the Office of the Traffic Commissioner proposed to revoke its licence following a failure to provide acceptable evidence to satisfy the mandatory requirement to be of financial standing.

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