O-licence revoked after director hands control of business to secretary

Ashleigh Wight
June 1, 2016


An Essex-based scaffolding company has been stripped of its O-licence after its director admitted he had surrendered control of the business to his secretary.

Callum Martin, director at Aston Scaffolding (Essex), told a public inquiry (PI) in Cambridge last month that he had delegated almost all responsibility for the operation to the secretary, who left the business two weeks before the hearing.

Its offences came to light after one of the company’s drivers, Steven Martin, received a £1,000 fine at Medway Magistrates’ Court in August 2015.

He was prosecuted for failing to enter details on a tachograph record sheet, failing to give his name and address and the name and address of the vehicle’s owner to a traffic examiner, and driving a vehicle on the road otherwise than in accordance with an O-licence.

East of England traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt told the PI that preventative maintenance inspection (PMI) records were only dated to May 2015.

The PMI records available highlighted shortcomings in the driver defect reporting system. Driver defect reports had not been completed in any sequential order and Callum Martin could not say whether any of them had been checked by the Colchester-based operator.

The TC found that the director’s knowledge of drivers’ hours and tachograph rules was not sufficient because he did not know how often drivers should take their breaks or what the driving limits were.

He did, however, know that driving records should be held for 28 days.

The company had held an O-licence authorising up to three vehicles for just over a year before it was called to the PI, and had been a member of the FTA for around six months. The TC said he was disappointed that it had failed to make use of the association’s advice, support or training.

TC Turfitt said he was not satisfied Callum Martin was capable of managing drivers and the firm’s compliance systems, and the driver’s conviction demonstrated a previous lack of control over its drivers, who include his brothers.

“His lack of knowledge was reflected in the absence of even basic requirements under the operator’s licence.

“There was no evidence of metered brake testing and he was unable to assure me as to the facilities available to his mobile fitter,” said the TC.

Turfitt made an order to revoke the firm’s O-licence from 25 May to allow the company to be wound up.

About the Author


Ashleigh Wight

Ashleigh is a former news reporter for Commercial Motor and Motor Transport and currently the editor of OHW+ and HR and wellbeing editor at Personnel Today.

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