Volvo Financial Services (VFS) has, for the second time in two years, succeeded in getting a vehicle that was impounded for cabotage breaches returned to it.
VFS sought the return of the vehicle, which was being operated by Dutch firm Farm Trans, on the grounds that it was unaware it was being used illegally. The truck was impounded on 10 April.
North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans said he was satisfied that at the time the vehicle was detained, VFS did not know it was being used in breach of the cabotage regulations.
In 2015, TC Kevin Rooney said VFS was on notice that Farm Trans was in the habit of flagrantly flouting cabotage rules. He said that should another of Volvo's vehicles operated by Farm Trans be detained, it would be difficult for Volvo to establish a lack of knowledge of that illegal operation. Simple database checks would not establish its client’s true behaviour.
When the 2015 impounding decision was made, the DVSA had recorded 94 encounters with Farm Trans vehicles in a five-year period. Some 10 prohibitions for cabotage infringements had also been issued to the operator.
Evans found that Farm Trans had discussed actions to address its cabotage issues with VFS. These included checking by planners, centralisation of activity and cross-checking at meetings.
The TC made it explicit to VFS that the latest incident provided yet further evidence of its client’s failure to ensure compliance with cabotage requirements. It would be likely to remain the case that Farm Trans's vehicles would be subject to continued surveillance by the DVSA.