Skip operators disqualified for “abdicating responsibility”

Chris Tindall
April 1, 2020

Two haulage directors of a London-based skip firm have been disqualified after the traffic commissioner found that they remained “a threat to public safety”.

Terence Osborne and Keith Hillman, current and former directors respectively of Alpha Skips 2010, lost their licences for an indeterminate period after TC Sarah Bell heard how they ignored the rules and worked beyond their lawful hours for commercial gain.

A DVSA roadside encounter with Hillman in 2018 prompted a traffic enforcement investigation at the company, which discovered there were virtually no systems for managing drivers’ hours, tachographs and working time directive.

Numerous offences were uncovered, including those at the most serious level, especially by both of the directors and after being prosecuted, the TC called them in to an Eastbourne PI.

The traffic examiner report showed that the operator had directors who were content to ignore the rules and, even after making changes to the monitoring and control of the transport operations, the TC found that the directors continued to abdicate their responsibilities.

Maintenance records showed numerous driver reportable items with no corresponding driver defect report.

Forms were poorly completed and did not include the actual defect rectification work.

In a written decision following the PI, TC Bell said: “Directors who commit offences; disregard the undertakings on the Licence and their purposes; abdicate responsibility to monitor and control the transport operations and fail to obtain the necessary skills to do so should not be taken by surprise if disqualification is found to be appropriate.

“As at the Public Inquiry Mr Osborne and Mr Hillman remain a threat to public safety.”

The TC continued: “The disqualification is for an indeterminate period. This means that an application can be made to lift the disqualification at any time.

“This should help focus the individuals’ attention. This is not a case of immediately putting in a new application and requesting an interim and then scrabbling around to put a positive case together.

“The disqualification needs to be lifted first before an application can be made and for any interim to be granted.”

The TC also suspended Hillman’s vocation driving entitlement for 56 days and the vocational provisional driving entitlement of Osborne was revoked.

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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