A restricted O-licence holder will be suspended from operating HGVs for 21 days after it failed to act on the promises it had made at two previous hearings.
North East deputy traffic commissioner (TC) Miles Dorrington found that the directors at Ossett, West Yorkshire-based Deepsleep Beds UK had failed to exercise proper management control and ensure compliance with road safety rules.
The company had appeared before the deputy TC in both December 2014 and November 2015, but DVSA examiners found that there were some areas where improvements had not yet been made.
A public inquiry (PI) in Leeds in January was told that six of the operator’s vehicles had received prohibitions between July 2015 and September 2016, for defects that included insecure or missing bolts that should have been holding down a vehicle's suspension.
A DVSA examiner also found that one maintenance inspection had not been made on time; the MoT pass rate for its trucks was below the national average; and two roller brake test records could not be produced for one of the vehicles.
The records brought to the hearing by the company also showed that it was still not operating compliantly, a DVSA officer told the PI.
A driver was also stopped in July 2016 and found to have committed a large number of driving offences.
Despite finding that the company had made some improvements, such as regularly downloading vehicle and driver tachograph data and using an external company to carry out compliance audits, Dorrington found that regulatory action against the firm’s O-licence was necessary.
The deputy TC said the firm’s directors - Iftikhar Hussain, Mohammed Tariq Raouf, Kamal Aziz and Aftab Hussain Choudhry – had failed to deliver on their promises to be compliant at the two previous hearings, and found that the company’s repute was “severely tarnished”.
“After the last public inquiry in November 2015 I would have expected this operator to pull out all the stops to ensure compliance. It did not,” he added.
The suspension will begin at 11.59pm on 28 February and will end at 11.59pm on 21 March. The deputy TC said the company’s vehicles are not to be specified on any other O-licence during this time.