Upper Tribunal upholds 365 NI Group O-licence refusal

Ashleigh Wight
September 26, 2016

The Upper Tribunal has upheld the decision by the Transport Regulation Unit (TRU) to deny an O-licence to 356 NI Group on the grounds that the company had not met the financial standing requirement.

365 NI Group had its application for 20 vehicles and 
six trailers rejected by Northern Ireland’s TRU in January after it had received numerous requests to provide proper evidence of the financial facilities it had in place.

When it applied for the O-licence in September last year, it failed to tick a box confirming that it had provided financial evidence in accordance with the guidance set out by the TRU. When no documents were received, the TRU sent numerous requests for documentation to support its application.

Several documents were received, but the TRU said these did not include anything that addressed its concerns about its ability to meet the requirement to have instant access to £81,100.

The O-licence was refused in December last year.

Appealing the decision, the Newtownabbey, County Antrim-based business claimed it believed it had supplied the information that was requested and was assured nothing was outstanding when it queried the status of its application with the TRU.

It also said it would have reduced the vehicle authorisation it was applying for to meet the level of finances it had, but that it was not given the opportunity to do so.

In an appeal hearing in June, which the company did not attend, the Upper Tribunal found that 365 NI Group was clearly advised about what evidence it needed to supply.

Judge Kenneth Mullan said in the Upper Tribunal’s decision last month: “It is for the operator, not the traffic commissioner, to specify the number of vehicles for which authority is requested. If the operator is unable to satisfy the requirement for financial standing in relation to that number it is for the operator to decide whether to ask for a reduction in the number authorised.

“It should have been clear to him that the funds available in the bank account were insufficient to meet the requirement.”

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