A scaffolding firm in Hemel Hempstead has had its licence revoked and its director disqualified after it attempted to continue the work of a banned operator.
Elite Access Scaffolding (EAS) appeared before deputy traffic commissioner Nicholas Denton at a Cambridge public inquiry after suspicions were aroused about its connections to another firm.
HS Scaffolding and director Karl Yarham had been disqualified for five years in 2022 after the TC found widespread failures to comply with its licence undertakings and vehicles in an “alarming condition”.
In early 2023, EAS director Jake Hull was appointed as director of H S Scaffolding and then the company applied to add an operating centre listed on the licence of H S Scaffolding.
A DVSA investigation into EAS found driver tachograph cards were not being downloaded, tacho units were not being downloaded within the required 90 days and the registered keeper of three of its vehicles was H S Scaffolding.
At the PI, Hull told the deputy TC he had been a scaffolder at Yarham’s firm but that its director had decided to give up and so Hull had decided to take over H S Scaffolding’s work.
He accepted he had not been doing the job he should have been doing in relation to drivers’ hours monitoring and he blamed it on naivety and lack of experience.
He also said he was the controlling mind behind EAS and Yarham had nothing to do with it.
However, DTC Denton disagreed: “I find that Elite Access Scaffolding is nothing more than a device to enable continued de facto operations by H S Scaffolding, in defiance of the revocation of its licence and its disqualification from holding one,” he said.
“The whole purpose of the operation has been to deceive the traffic commissioner and to evade the effects of the revocation of the licence of H S Scaffolding and of its disqualification.
“Unsurprisingly, compliance with drivers’ hours and maintenance requirements has been similarly poor. I cannot trust such a company to comply.”
He revoked the licence from 1 February and said that the additional level, duration and extent of EAS’ non-compliance with drivers’ hours and maintenance requirements meant he was disqualifying both Hull and the company for three years.