A Gravesend scaffolding firm has been refused an application to run commercial vehicles after a series of failings.
Anthony Graves, who applied for a licence to run vehicles from Albion Parade in Gravesend, was described as “entirely unfit” to hold an operator’s licence by industry regulator, Nick Denton.
The Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East also concluded that he had made a frivolous application. Graves, who planned to trade as Allscaff, failed to attend a public inquiry in Eastbourne which was arranged to consider his licence application.
During the inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner heard that two vehicles had been stopped on 8 and 29 July last year by government inspectors. Checks revealed that both vehicles were overloaded, untaxed and uninsured.
The first driver said he was working for Allscaff. The second driver was Graves.
Examiners from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) identified that Graves did not have the correct category of licence to drive the vehicle he was in. The vehicle was found to be 45% overloaded.
Both vehicles were also operating illegally, as they were not specified on a valid operator’s licence.
After examining the evidence, the Traffic Commissioner concluded: “I find that Graves has knowingly operated on more than one occasion without an operator’s licence and has operated severely overloaded vehicles which were not taxed or insured. He himself drove a 7.5 tonne vehicle without being licensed to do so.”
Denton also found there was substantial evidence to suggest that the application made by Graves was a front for Chris Ball. Ball’s vehicles had previously been impounded for illegal operation, following revocation of his company’s operator’s licence.
The driver of the vehicle stopped on 8 July said he was given instructions by Chris Ball on the day and the vehicle he was driving was registered to C Ball Scaffolding. Bank statements provided with the application made by
Graves appeared to show Ball as the main funder of Allscaff.