A serial non-compliant operator in West Sussex has had its licence revoked and its director disqualified for two years after a wheel-loss incident on the A24 could have led to a tragic accident.
Michael Turrell, trading as MT Services, had a history of public inquiry (PI) appearances stretching back to 1992, but he was given a last chance in February 2018 after a DVSA investigation uncovered “a woeful catalogue of non-compliance across the licence undertakings”.
However, just months later, the operator received an immediate prohibition following the wheel-loss incident. The prohibition related to road wheels missing on the outer and inner rear axle three and wheel studs missing. A follow-up maintenance investigation was marked unsatisfactory in respect of defects in the driver walk-around checks; no continuing professional development for the transport manager; absence of rolling road brake tests, and an absence of a wheel re-torque programme.
At a PI in Eastbourne, deputy traffic commissioner Anthony Seculer said the operator could not satisfy him that he had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the wheel-loss incident. In a written decision, Seculer said: “Having observed and heard from the operator at the inquiry, I found him to be inconsistent, unimpressive and lacking in credibility. This is an operator who has failed to heed the most clear and loud wake-up calls. There is no doubt in my mind that Mr Turrell poses a real and serious risk to road safety as an operator.”
Transport manager Ronald Gander also lost his repute and was disqualified indefinitely.
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