Licence lending results in revocation for Midlands firm

Chris Tindall
March 7, 2024

 

A West Midlands operator has had its licence revoked by the traffic commissioner after a public inquiry heard it had lent it out to another company and was using an unauthorised operating centre.

Restricted goods operator Steven Mark Price did not show up at the Birmingham hearing before TC Miles Dorrington, but he said it was fair and in the interests of justice to proceed in his absence.

Price held a licence for two lorries and one of these was stopped by the DVSA in June last year and its driver was found to be not using a digital tachograph card.

The stop also revealed the lorry was carrying an insecure load, with a risk to other road users from items falling from a skip and hitting them.

DVSA inquiries revealed that although the vehicle was specified on Price’s licence, it was being operated by another haulier, AJB Skip Hire.

In a subsequent interview under caution, Price admitted AJB was also operating other lorries when it held no licence and all these vehicles were being parked at his home address.

In his written decision, TC Dorrington said: “It was more likely than not that AJB Skip Hire, of which Mr Price was a director at all material times, was operating without an operator’s licence because it did not have an operator’s licence and you cannot lend an operator licence to another legal entity; they are not transferrable.”

The TC pointed out some positives in the case. He said Price had cooperated with the DVSA, he had made full admissions, accepted his failings and only blamed himself and so he gave him credit for that.

But he also said the negatives significantly outweighed the positives and in terms of regulatory action the case fell into the ‘severe’ to serious category.

“The use of an unauthorised operating centre for five years is totally unacceptable and I repeat all I have previously said on this subject,” the TC said. “The gravity of doing this is such that it is proportionate to revoke the operator’s licence.”

However, Dorrington stopped short of disqualification: “Given the open way that Mr Price answered the questions he was asked in his interview under caution I have stepped back from making any determination under section 28 of the Act.”

About the Author

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Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

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