‘Remote’ PI hailed a success

One of the first online public inquiries has taken place since the coronavirus lockdown was announced, with lawyers hailing it as a positive step by the traffic commissioners.

Hampshire Haulage had applied for a standard international licence to run four lorries and four trailers out of an operating centre in Alton, Hampshire and it was called to a PI to discuss the application.

The PI was held remotely last month and the operator was then granted the licence, with undertakings attached to its licence.

The TC directed that Kelly Larvan was to play no part in the management or administration of Hampshire Haulage and also that the company was not to undertake any haulage work for Alton Transport Storage.

The company was also asked to provide financial standing evidence for the three months to August 2020 to the Office of the TC in Bristol by 30 September.

In addition, on the same day, a transport manager PI also took place online and Hampshire Haulage’s Michael Larvan was found to be of good repute.

Laura Newton, solicitor at Smith Bowyer Clarke, which represented the company, said waiting for a PI to take place in person would have taken months.

She said: “We have seen the first hearing take place remotely and it is a real positive step to see that the office of the traffic commissioner is being proactive to assist operators at this time.

“For new applications and variations, a remote digital hearing will prevent long delays which can be costly for those with idle vehicles which still need to be paid for.

“This approach supports the economy and can help keep people in employment.

“It may also help redeploy those affected by stalled businesses due to coronavirus and current government restrictions.” 

She added: “Having remote hearings also means less of a backlog once restrictions are lifted.”

Newton said Smith Bowyer Clarke was confident there would be an increase in remote hearings taking place across all traffic areas, but she cautioned:

“Traffic Commissioners will be very conscious of the need for a fair hearing and will only proceed where it is appropriate to do so.

“We do not envisage that any operator would be forced into a remote hearing.”

Children's book gets the offical nod from Scania

Vroom Town

Scania has arrived in Vroom-Town, the exciting children’s book world created by author Emer Conlon who works as marketing manager for Irish Scania dealer McElvaney Motors.

Amongst the characters there are numerous trucks and diggers, but a new addition to Vroom-Town, Vabis, has officially been recognised by Scania who have made the series an officially licensed product.

The new book, the sixth in the series, welcomes Vabis to the town, who can now also be found at Scania Dealers across the UK. Along with other characters including Tang Arnold, an American semi, Daisy the opinionated truck, Terrible Terry, Trevor the tractor unit and Tim and Theo the Tippers, Vroom-Town will hopefully get young children interested in kids.

Conlon explains, " My journey has a bit of a backstory to it in that the idea for the books came from my day job as Marketing Manager of a Scania Dealership - so it has come full circle almost! I approached Scania in Sweden directly to see if they would have an interest in Vroom-Town. The team really liked the books and the fact that they are portraying a very positive message for trucks - as well as encouraging children to read - caught their attention. It is an absolute privilege and very humbling that such an innovative, global company has considered a Vroom-Town book worthy of being a licensed product.  There hasn't been any product offering like this from Scania before, so it is very unique. Although Scania is not assisting financially, I am able to use the logo. I am beyond excited about this opportunity and particularly as it is a platform to a very global audience - the potential for this latest book is enormous. I am a little bit proud that having worked with a Scania Dealer for 19 years, now one of my books will feature a Scania truck.

"The new character name, Vabis will mean something to people that are familiar with Scania. However, for those that aren't, Vabis was actually the name of a Swedish company that initially produced railway carriages and then moved into automobiles and truck production. They merged with Scania in 1911 forming Scania-Vabis and this remained the company name until 1968 when the Vabis name was dropped. When thinking of a name for the Scania truck, I thought Vabis would be a nice 'nod' to the history of Scania and it is also a name that children would take at face value".

Vabis vroom town