A haulage boss who wove “a tissue of lies” in an attempt to cover up the fact his company had been operating HGVs without a licence has had its application refused.
Colin Wilson, director of Centro Waste in Birmingham, applied to operate eight HGVs, but only after the DVSA had begun to investigate which business owned the lorries already running out of its proposed operating centre in Nechells Lane. Vehicles observed leaving the premises – listed as the operating centre of a company called Dial A Skip - were all registered to Centro Waste or Pimlico Trading Company, neither of which held an O-licence.
A DVSA report subsequently sent to the traffic commissioner concluded that the vehicles had been specified on other licences, including Paul Jarvis trading as Crane It, and these licences had been lent to Centro Waste.
At a Birmingham public inquiry, TC Nick Denton heard how Centro Waste had apparently been operating as a broker, taking bookings for skips and assigning them to sub-contractors, among them Eric Gowland trading as Dial A skip. Centro Waste claimed to have had had an arrangement with Dial A Skip where Gowland ran vehicles belonging to Centro under his licence. Wilson claimed the arrangement had not been documented, no invoices were issued and money never changed hands, because Gowland “was doing his own work and tipping in my yard and we set one off against the other.” However, during the PI it was revealed that Gowland was 92 years old, lived in the South West and had not operated vehicles for many years.
In a written decision, TC Denton said Centro Waste’s boss Wilson was a “wholly unreliable witness” and his answers had been “evasive, disingenuous and at times downright mendacious.” Denton said he had tried to conceal the fact that it had operated vehicles without a licence: “The HGVs run from the Nechells Lane premises look like a Centro Waste operation, quack like a Centro Waste Ltd operation and waddle like a Centro Waste Ltd operation. I find that they are indeed a Centro Waste Ltd operation.”
Jarvis was found to have lent his licence to Centro Waste and as a result he lost his repute, the licence was revoked and he was disqualified as a transport manager indefinitely. Gowland’s licence was revoked and he was also disqualified indefinitely.