The traffic commissioner has allowed a partial increase in licence authority for a Norfolk haulage operator, after it addressed shortcomings in its compliance systems.
Attleborough-based Skillplane sought an increase from four HGVs to 11 and to add another operating centre in Hackford, but concerns were raised about the findings in an earlier RHA audit that revealed maintenance weaknesses, as well as a failure to inform the TC about a change in transport manager. In addition, one of the company’s lorries was stopped by the DVSA and it was found that the driver’s Driver CPC had expired two months earlier. A follow-up DVSA assessment also uncovered an initial annual test pass rate of only 60% and concerns that PMI intervals were being exceeded.
At a virtual public inquiry before TC Richard Turfitt, Skillplane director Ivan Stubbings said its drivers would all be employed in the future and not classed as self-employed. Licences would be subject to systematic checking going forwards, PMI checks had been tightened up and the operator had implemented its own driver defect reporting forms. In addition, the company had employed a transport consultant to provide regular consultancy services and assist the transport manager.
In his written decision, Turfitt said the operator had “woken up to shortcomings” and allowed an increase to seven HGVs.