A West Midlands haulier has escaped having its licence revoked after a public inquiry revealed it had been operating without a transport manager for at least four years.
TC Nick Denton said it was only because the level of drivers’ hours offences racked up at Silver Knight Haulage and Machineries was relatively low that meant he wasn’t putting it out of business. However, the TC suspended the Walsall operator’s licence for 28 days and curtailed the licence to two HGVs indefinitely.
A Birmingham PI heard that nominated transport manager Christopher Stanford had not been involved with the business since 2016 or 2017, despite continuing to receive a monthly fee of £100. Since that time, no drivers’ hours analysis was taking place and director David Asbury – who was also an HGV driver – had made two false manual entries and had failed to take the required weekly rest on two occasions. A DVSA report also found that neither the director nor the transport manager had any understanding of the working time rules.
Asbury told Denton that Stanford was his brother-in-law and had agreed to carry out the role for a token sum. However, Asbury hadn’t appreciated how pivotal the job of transport manager was and he now intended to appoint a new one.
Summing up, Denton said Stanford had lost his repute and disqualified him for three years. “I considered long and hard whether to revoke this licence which, as stated above, has in practice lacked professional competence for at least four years,” he added. “The company is very much on probation.”