‘Reckless’ reliance on transport manager leads to revocation

O-licence

A courier company that relied on a transport manager who “more likely than not” falsified his CPC certificate as well as licensing documents, has now had its O-licence revoked.

GS Couriers (Nottingham) was authorised to run three lorries in the North West region in April 2018 with Mark Scholey listed as transport manager.

However, the company was under the impression that Jamie Bogg was the listed transport manager.

A Golborne public inquiry heard how company director Richard Gethings-Smith had appointed Bogg because he had appeared “very credible” and knowledgeable and because he himself had little knowledge of operator licensing.

The PI also heard how Scholey knew nothing of his appointment and that Bogg had added his name to the licence without GS Couriers being aware.

When the company, via Bogg, applied for another licence to operate in the North East region, again with Scholey listed as transport manager, concerns were raised by the central licensing office (CLO) that Scholey did not have a genuine link to the business.

In response, a further TM1 form was submitted to the CLO, this time with Bogg’s name added, along with his CPC certificate, although additional concerns were raised that this was also falsified.

In his written decision, TC Simon Evans said Gethings-Smith “accepted with the benefit of hindsight that everything he had been told was ‘a complete lie’, but the company had been ‘blinkered’ in its dealings with what he now described as ‘a fraudster and conman’.”

Summing up, the TC said: “I find that Jamie Bogg nominated Mark Scholey as TM without admitting the true circumstances to the director, whilst purporting to carry out the role himself.”

The TC said Bogg had also falsely told the operator it could run more vehicles than it was entitled to and that the O-licence document for the North East region presented to the director by Bogg was also false.

Bogg did not appear at the PI, but TC Evans said Gethings-Smith’s failure to conduct even basic checks of the application form was “wholly reckless” and “unbecoming of a licence holder.”

The company’s licence was revoked and Gethings-Smith and fellow director Louise Gethings-Smith were disqualified for six months.

The TC found that Bogg did not hold a valid transport manager’s CPC so he had no power to make a formal direction in respect of him.

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