A haulier’s O-licence was curtailed for two weeks after it emerged its transport manager had carried out an international journey on a standard national O-licence.
East of England traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt cut Loughborough-based haulier Richard Engelgardt’s licence from 11 to seven vehicles for 14 days from 8 July following a public inquiry (PI) in June. The business was not allowed to use the vehicles subject to the curtailment under any other licence during that time.
Transport manager Richard Harrison, based in Blaby, Leicestershire, lost his repute and was disqualified from holding a transport manager position until he has attended a two-day CPC refresher course. He must also seek permission from the TC before he is named on another O-licence.
Harrison had previously been given a formal warning for maintenance issues at a PI in 2014.
DVSA evidence presented at the recent PI in Cambridge showed Harrison made four overseas journeys while the O-licence holder was away, despite the business having permission to operate within the UK only.
Harrison collected vehicles from Aston Martin in Gaydon and delivered them to the Nürburgring in Germany on 14 May 2015. Four days later he returned to the UK with another vehicle loaded onto the truck.
When questioned by the DVSA, Harrison said Engelgardt was away when the international work took place and he had not been aware of the journeys out of the UK.
Engelgardt said he was angry at what had happened and only found out about the work having taken place when he contacted Harrison at a later date.
Harrison removed his digital drivers’ card from the vehicle tachograph unit when he ended his journeys in Germany. He had also incorrectly confirmed that he was in the UK when asked on the tachograph display.
The transport manager told the DVSA he did not see the message and had pressed ‘OK’ on the unit because that was what he did while carrying out domestic work.
The TC held his decision on whether to allow the operator to upgrade its O-licence from standard national to a standard international one, pending the results of an audit which he said must be undertaken by 30 September.
He also delayed his decision on whether to appoint a new transport manager, Serena Kirk-Housley, onto the O-licence.
Turfitt reminded the haulier and proposed transport manager of the transport manager’s responsibilities.
He said: “It is absolutely essential that transport managers know what their responsibilities are and that standard operators know what their transport managers should be doing to satisfy professional competence for the licence.
“As regulators, we want to educate and inform the industry about this vital role. We cannot stress enough the importance of the statutory duties held by a transport manager. They are directly responsible for achieving compliance – continuous and effective responsibility means what it says.”
- This article was published in the 28 July issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe to receive 12 issues for £12?