A haulier that ran more vehicles than it was authorised to do, displayed the discs of another operator and was uncontactable at its listed address has had its O-licence revoked.
In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Birmingham on 27 June, West Midlands traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton said Melton Mowbray-based Portcliff lacked good repute, professional competence, financial standing and a stable and effective establishment.
Portcliff, with an operating centre listed as a unit on the Asfordby Business Park, held a standard international O-licence, granted in June 2016, for five vehicles and five trailers.
In April the TC received a report from DVSA traffic examiner Robert Lees saying that from February to November 2017 Portcliff had been operating more vehicles than authorised - a total of seven trucks, including five on hire from Dina Global that had displayed the O-licence discs of Dina Global.
Also, a Portcliff driver had been stopped and officers discovered that he had disguised a drivers’ hours offence, having driven after removing his tachograph card. When the DVSA requested tachograph data from Portcliff it failed to respond.
The company was asked to attend a PI, via a letter sent in May, as was its sole director Cvetan Dimitrov in his capacity as transport manager. However, all correspondence was returned with a message saying Portcliff was not known at the address.
Portcliff’s contact telephone number turned out to belong to a previous operations manager who had left the company 12 months ago. No one from Portcliff attended the PI, but a representative from the Environment Agency at the hearing told the TC he had also been unable to trace the operator at any of its given addresses.
The representative told the TC that the organisation had been anxious to trace Portcliff to discuss a large number of very serious waste offences. Denton disqualified Dimitrov as director and transport manager on any O-licence in any EU-member state with immediate effect and for an indefinite period of time, saying he lacked good repute.
He added: “Dimitrov is clearly a person who has no intention with engaging with the regulatory authorities, whether TC, DVSA or Environment Agency. He has overseen an operation that clearly has little regard for the laws regarding either HGV operations or the treatment and disposal of waste.”
The TC said in view of the history of the business, he considered it unlikely that Portcliff or Dimitrov would comply with the decision and requested that the DVSA and the police use their automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and on-road resources to identify and stop vehicles operated by the company.
He added that any HGV operated by Portcliff is therefore now liable to be impounded. Denton said: “The disqualifications are for an indefinite period of time. Dimitrov may request a hearing, however I consider it unlikely, in view of the offences, that the disqualification would be time-limited to less than three years.”