An individual connected to Grittenham Haulage, the firm involved in the Bath tipper collision, has been granted a new O-licence to operate on the same site as that company.
Simon Nicholls, who currently operates as Simon John Nicholls, had also run two separate companies on the same site until 2011.
Grittenham Haulage, based at Whites Farm in Grittenham, had its O-licence revoked in December 2015, after the operator was found to have committed 124 transport offences over 15 weeks.
However in November last year Simon Nicholls, who was fined for two offences in the traffic commissioner’s written decision against Grittenham Haulage, was granted a licence to run three vehicles from the same address.
Nicholls held O-licences for two former companies, Flatlight and SJN Commercials, on the site before Grittenham Haulage was formed, both of which were revoked.
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) confirmed that Flatlight’s licence was revoked in 2011 when the company was placed in liquidation.
While running Flatlight, Nicholls was called to a PI where his repute as a transport manager was found to be “severely tarnished”.
OTC said his reputation was in tact when he applied for his most recent O-licence in 2015.
Grittenham Haulage boss Matthew Gordon, who was found guilty of manslaughter in the Bath tipper trial, was employed by Nicholls at Flatlight.
Gordon told the jury during the trial that Nicholls remained involved at Grittenham Haulage despite the TC’s recommendation that he did not hire him as a transport manager.
OTC confirmed that Gordon originally nominated Nicholls as transport manager at Grittenham Haulage, but replaced him with Simon Dolman prior to the application being granted.
Gordon said that Nicholls assisted with vehicle maintenance at Grittenham Haulage, and had helped inspect the vehicle involved in the collision two months prior to the incident.
He also revealed that he had taken advice from Nicholls while acting, unqualified, as a transport manager between September 2014 and February 2015.
Nicholls had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.
- See today's Commercial Motor for this story and much more including Next Generation Scanias for Eddie Stobart and AW Jenkinson; a road test of the popular Daf XF; truck dealer Mick Moody; and our investigation into what security measures you should be taking to safeguard your fleet against terror attacks.