Failures by TM lead to indefinite disqualification

Chris Tindall
June 29, 2023

The transport manager for a Chester le Street haulier who drove lorries “extensively” and neglected his management duties has been disqualified indefinitely following a Leeds public inquiry (PI).
Deputy traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans said Kenneth Cooper had patently failed to prioritise his role as Pallas Transport Services’ transport manager and that the loss of his repute was proportionate.
Cooper did not appear at the PI, but he sent a letter to the deputy TC before the hearing stating that he had stepped down as transport manager by mutual agreement with the operator.
He also stated that legal action would be taken against the DVSA and the Office of the TC.
The PI went ahead in his absence.
Evans said one of the central concerns was that despite being the sole nominated transport manager, Cooper had driven vehicles for Pallas on numerous occasions.
Drivers’ hours evidence produced at the PI showed that he typically drove four or five days a week, despite his original application claiming he would work for 40 hours a week as transport manager.
A DVSA traffic examiner said he had been told this was because there was a shortage of drivers, but that steps were being taken to get Cooper back to management duties.
A vehicle examiner investigation found shortcomings during a site visit, including few records of any roller-brake testing and weaknesses in maintenance standards and, along with an S-marked prohibition, it appeared Cooper did not have effective control.
In his written decision, deputy TC Evans said: “Mr Cooper has exercised his right not to attend the hearing and, of course, I am unable to compel his attendance before me.
“That said, transport managers owe a duty to the traffic commissioner, or deputy, as their professional regulator, to attend before them when requested. The calling-in letter explains the consequences of non-attendance and failure to cooperate with the inquiry.”
He added: “Whilst I give some credit to him for the decision to stand down, it is not enough to avoid that finding, since he appears to accept no responsibility at all for road safety concerns that have arisen from the operation of the Pallas licence.”
Cooper’s disqualification took effect immediately and the licence held by Pallas was revoked.

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.

Share this article

Vehicle Type