A Polish operator that repeatedly flouted cabotage restrictions has failed to have an impounded HGV returned after ANPR evidence revealed it had been spotted 140 times in 12 days.
Anthony Seculer, deputy traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales, said Van Huet Glastransport Polska and company manager Marek Bekas had been wholly inadequate and irresponsible in their response to the truck being detained and provided “deliberately misleading” evidence.
DVSA examiners stopped the vehicle en route from Swansea to Goole and driver Jacek Nowak was unable to provide proof of the HGV’s incoming international journey to the UK.
Further inquiries showed that the company had previously received a pre-impounding warning letter in 2019 and a prohibition was attached to the same vehicle in 2021 for a cabotage offence.
The DVSA analysed the tachograph unit and found that
it had once again exceeded the seven-day period for cabotage operations and it was impounded.
The company applied to have the truck returned on the grounds that, although it had been used in contravention of the act, the owner was unaware of the offence.
However, following a subsequent hearing, the deputy TC said Bekas had been unconvincing and unimpressive as a witness:
“He was hesitant and vague and I find his evidence to be deliberately misleading,” Seculer said. “There is minimal evidence of control systems and effective management and, once the vehicle was detained, the applicant company’s response has been wholly inadequate and irresponsible.
“The most basic control system would have revealed that the vehicle had remained in the UK for more than seven days and the ‘random checks’ mentioned by Mr Bekas were either non-existent or inadequate to prevent unlawful use.”
The TC said Bekas had been willing to make a statement in support of the application that was patently false, including a claim that the operator had restricted itself to no more than two cabotage operations within seven days of entering the UK:
“This statement was clearly contradicted by the subsequent DVSA interrogation of the ANPR systems, which revealed 140 sightings between 10 June when the vehicle entered the UK and 22 June when the vehicle was stopped,” he pointed out.