False statements and illegal use of vehicle spell end for firm

Chris Tindall
February 29, 2024



An operator in Cheltenham has had its licence application refused after the traffic commissioner found it had been running a lorry unlawfully for years.

CSAG Merchants applied to operate two HGVs under restricted authorisation but its director Shakilbai Tai did not declare he had previously helped run a business called Cheltenham Sand and Gravel, which had its licence revoked in 2018.

His date of birth on the new application was also slightly different.

More information was requested from the TC’s office and Tai responded claiming his role within Cheltenham Sand and Gravel had not been hands on and his relationship with the other director had broken down.

He added that since then he had only been operating vehicles up to 3.5-tonnes but it now made financial sense to begin running larger fleet vehicles.

However, ANPR data requested from the DVSA revealed one of CSAG’s lorries had been sighted on 50 occasions.

Tai told the TC the vehicle had only been used in its yard as a backup to load sand and gravel into bags and it had not been used on the public highway.

Concerned about the evidence, TC Kevin Rooney called the operator to a public inquiry but it did not attend and instead the director wrote to him requesting to withdraw the application.

“I declined in the following terms,” the TC said in his written decision.

“The application has raised the issue of illegal operation and I find it is in the public interest for the application to be determined at public inquiry.

“The applicant may make further representations why I should accept withdrawal. Whether the applicant wishes to attend is a matter for the applicant.”

Rooney added: “Having not attended, the applicant cannot assist with an explanation of the 50,000kms covered since its apparent acquisition of the vehicle, supposedly moving material around its yard.

“It is clear to me, well beyond the balance of probabilities, that the applicant has been using a vehicle unlawfully for years.

“The combination of false statements and illegal operation cause me to find that the applicant is unfit to be the holder of a restricted goods vehicle operator’s licence.

“The application is refused.”

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

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