A former transport manager who was found to have “deliberately misled” a traffic commissioner (TC) about the hours he worked has lost his appeal.
The Upper Tribunal ruled that former West Midlands TC Nick Jones was right to have stripped Shaun Britton, former transport manager at Wolverhampton-based RT Premium Logistics, of his repute following a public inquiry (PI) last year. Britton was also disqualified from acting as a transport manager for three years.
The company was called before the TC as an HGV was spotted without an O-licence disc on display and had a dangerous load. Two vehicles had also been used before they were specified on the firm’s O-licence, and drivers’ hours records were not being checked.
Britton suggested at the PI that he had undertaken his role as a transport manager for eight hours per week; did not have a written contract in place; and claimed that his wage was not sufficient for the job he was doing.
The TC requested he present his tax return to prove his earnings, but this did not happen.
Shortly after the first hearing, which took place in July 2016, Britton resigned from the company.
The operator told a second hearing in October that Britton had not told the truth and had in fact been fulfilling his duties for four hours a week.
In his decision last year, Jones said Britton had misled the TC, the DVSA and his employer, and had been untruthful about his history as a transport manager.
In his appeal against the decision, Britton said he had not been dishonest and had resigned from the company due to its lack of cooperation with him. He claimed to have had an unblemished history.
Judge Mark Hemmingway said: “The operator’s explanation at the second day of the public inquiry to the effect that, in fact, the arrangement had been that he would work as a transport manager for only four hours per week makes much more sense. That is because, if correct, it means that he would have been earning more than the drivers, which is only what one might reasonably expect given the marked difference between the two functions.”
The judge said that untruthful statements were sufficient enough for a TC to rule that a transport manager had lost his repute.