Wales traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Jones has revoked the O-licence of a Wrexham operator whose vehicle was stopped and found to have several defects, and was also without a valid MoT for its tractor unit or trailer.
Billington Farms claimed all its vehicles were off the road and that if they had been used, it was not the company’s responsibility.
The TC was sceptical that the truck was taken without permission on the day it was stopped. In his written decision he said: “The police were not called by the operator or her husband, but that is not surprising as it is clear that the vehicle was driven on instructions from the family of the operator.
“If the police had investigated they would no doubt have been interested in the fact that the HGV had been returned to its base, despite apparently being taken without consent.”
It emerged at a public inquiry at the end of February that the driver of the vehicle at the time it was stopped last July, who had given his name as Jason Podmore, was not Jason Podmore. In his written decision published this month, the TC exonerated Podmore and said that this was a case of identity theft.
When the vehicle was stopped, the defects that were found led to S marked prohibitions being issued to both tractor unit and trailer. The driver who falsely identified himself as Podmore said he did not have a CPC qualification and was not using a tachograph card.
The TC found that Linda Jane Billington, trading as Billington Farms, no longer satisfied the requirement to have sufficient financial resources for an O-licence, so it was revoked.
He disqualified Billington from holding an O-licence for two years.