A haulage company run by a member of the Nolan family has had its licence curtailed after a traffic commissioner found “serious and avoidable” failings.
The international licence held by Davies & Meredith in Bridgend was cut by 15 HGVs and 15 trailers to 35 and 35 after TC for Wales, Nick Jones, said that for a substantial period of time there had been “no real professional competence” within the firm.
The TC also found that transport manager Gavin Eley did not have continuous and effective management at the company, whose sole director is Noel Nolan, and so Eley lost his repute and was disqualified for three months.
A hearing into the firm was called following an unsatisfactory DVSA investigation and concerns regarding nuisance parking.
The police had also commenced an investigation in 2017 after a wheel loss incident on the M4 near Swansea.
A vehicle examiner claimed that the operator was not using a recorded operating centre in Pembroke Dock and instead drivers were parking on waste ground on side roads within the vicinity of the port area and other Nolan liveried vehicles were described as “uncontrollably nuisance parking”.
The DVSA found that drivers did not appear to know who the company’s transport manager was either.
A traffic examiner also raised concerns that the operator did not have enough control over the work allocated to drivers, with it instead being planned and allocated centrally by the Nolan transport office in Ireland.
In a written decision, TC Jones said Eley was not carrying out his transport manager duties and there was no justification for him undertaking additional customer service and sales work when there was a large number of vehicles specified on the licence.
He accepted that Eley was relatively recently qualified, he was seeking to improve his knowledge and he had already implemented some changes and so he disqualified him for “a relatively modest” three months.
The TC also said that, despite the public inquiry history of the Nolan family, Noel had played “a significant part in transforming the wider family business from one where it was regarded as a very poor operator, to being one which has been fundamentally changed for the better.”
In addition, inspection records were up to date with no gaps and all documents were completed fully, with 15 months’ worth available for all vehicles.
He added that he wasn’t suspending the licence because of the positive features in the case and that “Noel Nolan genuinely seeks to be a good compliant operator who is an exemplar to others.”