Covid spread risk raises TC’s ire

A Romanian transport manager that turned up to a public inquiry from the airport without quarantining has been criticised by the traffic commissioner.

TC Richard Turfitt was forced to cancel a Cambridge PI after hearing that the director of RBT Logistics, Florin Stoica, had driven proposed transport manager Florin Pop to the tribunal on the day he arrived from Romania. The operator sought a standard international licence for three vehicles and three trailers in Stanford Le Hope, but due to the failure by Stoica to inform the office of the TC that his previous business, Maya Logistics, had become insolvent he was called to attend a PI to discuss his new business.

In a written decision, the TC said it was only due to the “quick thinking” of the operator’s solicitor, Michelle O’Garro, who alerted his office that Pop had just arrived from Romania and should have been quarantining himself under Covid-19 rules, that prevented the potential spread of the disease.

Turfitt said: “Having failed to quarantine, they caused potential risk to other members of the public and potentially to the legal representative and members of the tribunal staff.”

During the rescheduled PI, it became apparent that the operator lacked the financial standing to operate three vehicles and so it was revised down to one HGV instead. The TC expressed concerns about how continuous and effective management would be achieved, but he granted authority for three months, “by which time the applicant must satisfy me to the civil standard of proof that the statutory criteria are met,” he added.

Knowledge gap scuppers application hopes

A traffic commissioner has refused an application for an international O-licence after finding that the proposed transport manager lacked experience and knowledge.

Expert Trans wanted to run five HGVs and five trailers out of a depot in Purfleet and it was called to a Cambridge public inquiry in order to satisfy the TC that the statutory criteria could be met. Documentation submitted to the office for the traffic commissioner prior to the hearing showed that in order to demonstrate financial standing, there had been large deposits made into its bank account. Director Olimpia Cojocariu said two of these deposits were from a family friend, Constantin-Silviu Malincini and his mother.

Malincini had an O-licence revoked after failing to provide financial standing for his business, Express Service, which had traded out of the same premises in Purfleet as Expert Trans. Cojocariu said Malincini would have no involvement in the directorship or day-to-day running of the company, although he may be given a job as a driver if the application was granted. But due to Eastern region TC Richard Turfitt’s concerns, Cojocariu told him at the PI that the loan had now been repaid and Malincini would have no involvement.

However, Turfitt also said he was unclear how the operator would have satisfactory arrangements for maintaining vehicles, given that the proposed transport manager, Ana-Maria Cojocariu was unable to explain the maintenance arrangements and the PMI intervals.

In a written decision, the TC said: “She was unable to produce a sample of the proposed PMI form to show that she had checked that current standards would apply.  She referred to the potential for use of a decelerometer to test brake performance and to utilise a rolling road brake tester four times per year. This was based on advice from the contractor and she appeared unaware of the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness. The applicant director and the CPC holder were unable to tell me what the policy would be around a wheel-off and retorque procedures.”

He added: “The question is not one of qualification but whether the nominated CPC holder is sufficiently focused on the responsibilities as transport manager and can confidently show the ability to exercise continuous and effective management of the operation. I regret that this was not the case with Ms Cojocariu.”