‘Phoenix’ haulier application goes down in flames

Chris Tindall
October 5, 2021

The traffic commissioner has refused an application by a skip firm to operate HGVs after concluding that it was “a clear example of a phoenix business”. West Midlands TC Nick Denton said that if he allowed Emily Green to start running lorries, given her family links to people who had helped run a rogue company, then the message it would send out would be that “it does not greatly matter if you ignore all the rules relating to safe driving”.

Green applied to run two HGVs and stated in her application that they would be operating in the general haulage sector. However, the central licensing unit spotted possible connections with the revoked operator Barry Taylor, operating as Viking Skips.

Taylor operated in partnership with Neil and Carl Green – Emily’s father and uncle respectively - and this business had its licence revoked in 2019 after it ran more vehicles than specified on the licence; tachograph data was never downloaded; no safety inspections beyond MOTs were carried out and it operated a lorry with false number plates which was also out of tax and MOT. Two further licence applications by Neil and Carl were then refused before Emily submitted hers.

A Birmingham public inquiry heard how Emily would be relying on Viking Skips HGVs provided to her by her father. The intention was that her sole trader business would carry Viking’s skips and so enable the continuation of the failed business.

In his written decision, the TC said Viking Skips deserved to go out of business and that the effect of granting Emily a licence would be to allow it to continue operating. I judge that the likelihood of Ms Green acting truly independently from her father is very small,” he said. “She did not come over to me at the inquiry as being able and willing to forge an independent path.”

The TC said: “One must be wary of visiting the sins of a parent upon their children. But Emily Green is an employee of the Viking Skips business and is only in a position to apply to operate vehicles because the Viking vehicles have been put at her disposal.” He gave her credit for taking the transport manager CPC exam but refused the application.

About the Author

Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and quickly realised there was enough going on to keep him busy for a very long time. He’s covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning, Brexit and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lack of safe and secure lorry parks and he helped secure the release of a lorry driver in a Polish jail due to misuse of the European Arrest Warrant.

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