A Birmingham operator that displayed “inexcusable negligence” over its vehicle maintenance and whose director showed a complete failure to manage a compliant business has had its licence revoked.
West Midlands traffic commissioner Nick Denton said MK Builders Merchants and Mohinder Singh should also be disqualified from holding a licence in the future after failing to acknowledge or act on a maintenance investigation which highlighted a host of failings.
The DVSA’s probe in 2019 showed that the company had attracted three roadworthiness prohibitions out of four encounters and there had been multiple MOT failings.
A follow-up visit by the DVSA in 2021 found little had changed - despite assurances by Singh – and, in fact, the situation had deteriorated. Evidence showed use of an unauthorised operating centre; six-week inspection intervals were not always being adhered to; there were still no meaningful brake tests being conducted and there had been additional MOT failures.
At a subsequent public inquiry, Singh was asked by the TC why he had not realised in 2019 that his maintenance provider, Action Garage Midlands (AGM) was not doing a good job and in response the director said AGM had assured him it was doing everything correctly.
In his written decision, the TC said: “Pressed on how he could have confidence that AGM were doing everything correctly when the 2019 report clearly showed that they were not, Mr Singh said that he would look after everything properly from now on.” However, TC Denton was not impressed and said vehicles specified on its restricted licence had failed every MOT since 2015 and were clearly in an unroadworthy and illegal condition: “The company’s response to the unsatisfactory marking it received from DVSA after the June 2019 maintenance investigation was wholly inadequate,” he said. “Although Mohinder Singh promised that everything concerning safety, maintenance and records would be done correctly in future, in practice he did almost nothing to make sure that this would be so.”
He added: “I do not think that Mr Singh has it in him to run a compliant operation: even today he shows little understanding of what is involved.” As a result, the TC revoked the licence and disqualified Singh for 12 months.