A Guildford operator who loaned O-licence discs out to a haulier whose own O-licence had been revoked days earlier, has been disqualified.
Gary Whittle, director of GW Tippers, admitted in an interview with a traffic examiner that he had specified two lorries on his licence between 27 May 2017 and 26 July 2018, when in fact they were being operated by M&M Transport, which had its O-licence revoked on 23 May 2017.
At an Eastbourne public inquiry deputy traffic commissioner John Baker heard how an investigation into GW Tippers by a DVSA examiner uncovered significant failings in maintenance and compliance.
A call-up letter was sent to Whittle, but no response was received.
A separate call-up letter to transport manager Iosif Karascan resulted in him responding saying he would not be attending the PI “as he was on holiday and had no idea when he will be back”.
DTC Baker decided to proceed with the PI in the absence of the two men.
In a written decision, he said: “I find that the operator has lost repute, has failed to demonstrate financial standing and professional competence.
“I have no hesitation in saying that I cannot trust this operator – the range and seriousness of the failings to date coupled with the failure to respond to the call up letter to inquiry all point to an operator who should not be permitted to continue to in the industry.”
He added: “I have considered whether he [Whittle] should be disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence and have decided that he should be for a period of three years.
“Taking into account that this is the first time he has been called to an inquiry but balancing this with the seriousness of the findings I believe this to be a proportionate and appropriate order.”
In relation to Karascan, the DTC found that as he was the transport manager during the period when the failings were present, he had lost his repute:
“He should have been aware of these, including the unlawful loaning of the authorisations and should have taken action to prevent this. It follows from the loss of repute that he is disqualified from undertaking a role as transport manager and I so order for an indefinite period.”