A restricted licence holder that used lorries to transport ‘super cars’ to race tracks for event experiences has had its licence revoked.
SCDD appeared before the traffic commissioner for the North West, Simon Evans (pictured), after one of its vehicles was stopped in April 2018 and the driver was found not to have the necessary entitlement for its use that day. It was also discovered that the tachograph had not been downloaded for more than four years, albeit it transpired the lorry was only added to the licence in February 2018.
The DVSA said the vehicle and trailer combination was in excess of 750kg and therefore should have been holding a full C+E driving licence. Although the driver held provisional entitlement, he was not displaying L plates nor was he accompanied by a qualified driver.
Director Adam Hayes told the PI the offence was committed in error and disputed the finding that the trailer was in excess of 750kg. However, he accepted that the tachograph data had not been “locked in” using the company card and he accepted responsibility for failing to notify a change in directorship earlier in the year.
Further investigation found issues over SCDD’s financial standing. Papers served also highlighted Hayes’ involvement with a second company called Hayes Freight, which lost its licence in May 2018. At the time Hayes was found to have lost his repute as a transport manager: “Through his acts and omissions, he had facilitated the continuation of a substantial operator’s licence when there had been no professional competence,” explained the TC. “He had pretended to be the transport manager when he was not.”
As a result, he was also disqualified for five years - something that wasn’t mentioned to the TC’s office with regards to SCDD’s fitness to hold a licence.
TC Evans said there were “real concerns” about the fitness and serviceability of SCDD’s vehicles, the quality of the driver defect reporting arrangements and the preventative maintenance regime.
Hayes said he’d made some “awful decisions” but that his actions were out of character and nothing had been done with a view to gain or wilfully mislead.
However, the TC said he couldn’t be satisfied the operator would be compliant in the future, because he couldn’t trust the director: “I cannot agree that Adam Hayes was acting other than deliberately and with intent to mislead, when the DVSA began its inquiries into Hayes Freight. The assurances given by him about future arrangements are hollow in the light of the findings in respect of his repute as a TM.”
He added that he was shocked that SDCC’s other director Adam Trapp hadn’t appeared at PI and that there were “repeated examples of failure to notify material changes, serious concerns about the management of drivers, driver defect reporting arrangements and the maintenance of vehicles. Financial standing is not met.”
He concluded that the licence must be revoked: “I understand that the vehicles are not currently being operated. The order will take effect immediately.”
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