CommercialFleet

Licence suspended after disqualified transport operator employed

Court room gavel and scales of justice, traffic commissioner

A disqualified transporter operator helping to run Solid Scaffolding resulted in the firm almost losing its licence.

The company had its licence curtailed to just one vehicle, suspended for January 2022 and its repute was found to be severely tarnished following the public inquiry on November 16.

William Benson, the actual operator, had previously been invited to attend new operator seminars but had failed to attend.

As a result of this, the deputy traffic commissioner for the south east and metropolitan traffic area, John Baker, said Benson was unaware of the mistake he made in recruiting Vincent Larkin to help run Solid Scaffolding.

The operator deferred to Larkin due to his experience and this led to numerous mistakes, such as hiring a driver with undisclosed driving offences, operating with another operator’s disc in the windscreen and a lack of brake testing, the inquiry heard.

Baker said: “Mr Larkin, who is a person with a long adverse history in operator licensing, appears to have been given responsibility for the transport operation and Mr Benson deferred to him without properly checking on his background or finding out for himself what he should be doing on behalf of his company as a newly appointed operator.

“Mr Benson assures me Mr Larkin will not be involved going forward and I have concluded that I am prepared to give him the chance to show that he can carry through on that promise.

“I am therefore able to step back from revocation of the licence but nevertheless do need to take significant regulatory action bearing in mind the seriousness.”

The operator was also directed to attend an Operator Licensing Awareness Training Course within two months of the date of the decision, employ a transport consultant for not less than four months and have an audit conducted in April 2022.

Larkin is also to play no part in the future management of the transport operation.

All new operators receive a suite of advice through the first four months of operations in order to remind them of important tasks.

Further details about the inquiry can be found here

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