Leedale adds struggling East Midlands to its stable

Chris Tindall
June 30, 2017


A director who presided over a business that displayed “long-standing and persistent breaches” and had its O-licence revoked, has been appointed to run a company that was facing insolvency.

Lee Walkup resigned from Derbyshire operator Leedale in 2014 after DVSA evidence showed there were significant maintenance and drivers’ hours failings. He and the company, which he was sole director of, were found by North West traffic commissioner (TC) Beverley Bell to have lost their repute and had their O-licence revoked in December 2014.

During a failed attempt to appeal the revocation in 2015, the Upper Tribunal acknowledged Leedale had taken positive steps to become compliant, which included Lee Walkup resigning.

However, Judge Jacqueline Beech added: “Whilst Mr Walkup had indicated a willingness to stand down as a director and remain with the company as an employee responsible for generating work, the irresistible conclusion is that he would continue to control and direct the company.” 

Leedale ultimately won its O-licence back on the 17 June 2015, after a new management team of Oliver Walkup and Christian Stone were granted an interim licence ahead of the Upper Tribunal’s revocation coming into effect. 

The move saved jobs but was only sanctioned on the basis that former director Lee Walkup would not be involved in the company.
Following its acquisition earlier this year by Leedale, Companies House shows Lee Walkup became a director of East Midlands Haulage (EMH) at the end of February.

In a press release, Leedale said its purchase of EMH brought it “back from the brink of bankruptcy” after it invested almost £1m, covered debts of £30,000 and created eight new jobs in the process.

Leedale director Oliver Walkup said: “Buying this company has enabled us to increase our area of service and marks a new era, as we can now expand our haulage services due to this growth.

“By investing in a range of new trucks, which cost £140,000 each, we have been able to revive the company whilst maintaining a high standard of service.

“With this new arm to the branch, we estimate to go from six to 15 new vehicles on this site, hopefully creating at least another 10 jobs in the near future.”

An Office of the Traffic Commissioner spokesman said: “East Midlands Haulage has notified the appointment of a new director, Lee Walkup, to the office of the traffic commissioner. 

“The matter will be referred to the traffic commissioner in due course, to determine whether there are grounds to consider the appointment further in respect of the company’s operator licence.” 

The spokesman added, after an enquiry from CM, that “there is no current valid licence in the name of Leedale”.

“An application made by the company was refused (and with it the interim licence in force revoked) – this is currently the subject of an appeal with the Upper Tribunal. A stay of the decision has been refused by the TC and the Upper Tribunal. An appeal against the UT’s decision was also made by the company,” he added.

When contacted by CM, Leedale declined to comment.

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.

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