Application fails for insufficient documentation

WhatsApp

An application to operate one vehicle and two trailers out of a base in Leicester has been refused by the traffic commissioner – even after he gave the applicant “considerable assistance”.

Stonelodge Farm applied for the restricted licence with Carl Foster named as director; however, it was noted that he had been involved with other businesses where the licences had been revoked. The first was in 2012 when the company, Stonelodge Industries, had entered liquidation. It had also operated as Stonelodge Farm, before this licence was revoked in 2017 following concerns about good repute and professional competence. TC Richard Turfitt therefore requested that the operator appear at a hearing to discuss its latest application.

Foster failed to provide original finance-related documentation and appeared not to have read the current Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness document. He said he intended to rely on WhatsApp so that drivers could message the maintenance supplier about vehicle parts that needed ordering, but the TC said this did not meet the requirements for record keeping of driver detected defects.

In his written decision, Turfitt said he delayed his decision to enable the operator to provide more paperwork that would aid the application, such as maintenance arrangements; financial evidence; driver defect reporting book examples and proof of training. However, even with this extra time, the TC was not satisfied with the information Foster provided. “It remains the case that I cannot be satisfied and I am obliged to refuse the application on that basis, despite having given the applicant considerable assistance,” he said.

Noble aspiration pays off after PI appearance

A Northampton operator who had his licence revoked last year has been given a second chance at running trucks after a traffic commissioner was persuaded he had met the statutory criteria.

Ashley Warren, sole director of Noble Scaffolding, appeared at a Cambridge public inquiry after filling out an application to operate two HGVs under a restricted licence from a Dodford operating centre. Warren had previously held a licence for two HGVs, but this was revoked in February 2020 after a traffic examiner identified “a general lack of awareness of requirements” following a site visit.

In his new application, Warren explained that he had created a transport management system; joined the RHA; undertaken additional training; outsourced drivers’ hours analysis and he also proposed undertaking an audit three months after the licence was granted. Warren had also employed a transport consultant to assist with setting up any administration and management.

In a written decision following the PI, traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt granted the licence, but also warned Warren that there could be no repeat of his previous non-compliance: “Mr Warren was left in no doubt that as the sole director he is responsible for ensuring compliance with the operator licence requirements,” he said. “I was persuaded that the applicant had met the statutory criteria so that I could grant the licence.”