Oswestry-based CIT European has had its O-licence revoked following an investigation that found Craig Isaac had used the company to circumvent a five-year disqualification.
In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in August in Welshpool, traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones described Isaac as a “rogue” who had engaged in calculated and dishonest actions. The TC had disqualified Isaac following a 2012 PI that found he had not employed a transport manager at his haulage operation, European Express.
CIT - with Isaac’s stepfather Philip Lindup listed as sole director - was granted a standard international O-licence in 2015 for two vehicles and two trailers. In January 2018 DVSA employee and traffic examiner Marianne Hyde called CIT and spoke to an individual who was knowledgeable about the transport business and who identified himself as Lindup.
However, at an interview in February 2018, arranged following concerns about Isaac’s influence on the business, Lindup told Hyde he did not know: how his drivers were paid; how much he paid drivers for a night out or where he kept receipts for drivers’; how many times a driver can reduce his daily rest in a week; and anything about tachograph printouts. Hyde said Lindup had “demonstrated a high level of ignorance regarding the very basic requirements for operating vehicles and a breathtaking lack of knowledge” and concluded that Isaac had pretended to be Lindup during the January phone conversation.
She also suspected CIT was an acronym for Craig International/Isaac Transport, however, Lindup told her it stood for “Chilled International Transport”. At another interview in February 2018, listed transport manager Peter Jones told Hyde he had not received any money from CIT and “didn’t do anything either”.
Analysis of CIT records from 1 June 2017 to 31 August 2017 revealed 28 drivers’ hours infringements. Jones disqualified Isaac from holding an O-licence for 10 years, and said he had been a shadow director of CIT.
He also disqualified Lindup from having an O-licence for five years and disqualified Jones as a transport manager indefinitely. “The limited company [CIT European] was set up with the sole intention of circumventing decisions of mine and to avoid bringing to my attention Craig Isaac’s true role,” the TC said.
Jones refused a fresh application from Isaac for a standard international O-licence for two vehicles and two trailers. He disqualified Isaac as a transport manager indefinitely and issued a formal warning that he is liable to have his vehicles impounded by the DVSA if he continues to operate illegally.
“I suspect that only if he believes that there is a realistic chance of his vehicles being impounded is he going to cease operating,” the TC concluded. Isaac has lodged an appeal.