DVLA slow in returning HGV driver's licence despite medical all clear
An HGV driver said a delay in re-issuing his licence after his recovery from an operation had affected his mental health and created stress for his family.
Keith Samuel said he had done everything the DVLA requested to comply with licensing requirements, including receiving a clean bill of health from a cardiologist, but he has still not been able to drive despite reapplying on 10 July.
In January, the Hayton Coulthard driver was rushed to hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack; he was subsequently diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia.
Following an operation to treat the abnormally fast heart rate on 30 May, Samuel said his cardiologist reported he was fit enough to have his licence returned, and having waited the six weeks mandated by the DVLA, he reapplied.
However, he said the agency has dragged its feet since and he is still waiting more than two months on.
Samuel’s experience mirrors that of other CM readers who have complained about the agency’s failure to reissue licences following medical problems.
In April, the DVLA promised to reissue an HGV driver with his licence after CM questioned why the agency was ignoring the medical advice of a neurosurgeon.
The DVLA said it would not comment on an individual’s case, but it was often reliant on information from “a third party”, which could cause delay.
Driver reimbursed after fighting move by Eddie Stobart's recruitment arm to dock his pay due to PCN
A lorry driver has been reimbursed by Eddie Stobart Logistics after its recruitment arm, The Logistics People, paid a penalty charge notice (PCN) without informing him and then docked it from his wages.
Freelance driver Charles Peel said he wasn’t given an opportunity to challenge the apparent breach of the London Lorry Control Scheme (LLCS), before The Logistics People paid £275 for an operator’s PCN.
Peel said if he had known, he could have chosen to pay a driver’s PCN for a fraction of the cost, or else appealed the decision.
Instead, he claimed the company told him almost four weeks later that it was planning to deduct the amount from his wages.
He said: “I have been presented with a fait accompli. It paid it and knocked it off my money. It said my contract says any fines you get that are imposed on you can be recharged, which is entirely fair. But it wasn’t imposed on me, it was imposed on Stobart.”
Peel was considering taking legal action for breach of contract against Eddie Stobart Logistics, but after CM got involved and pursued his case the transport group agreed to pay him back in full.
A spokesman for Eddie Stobart Logistics said: “We can confirm that we have refunded Mr Peel in full and acknowledge that in this instance, our administrative procedures were not correctly followed.
“Mr Peel is happy with this resolution and we have apologised for the inconvenience caused.”
In emails seen by CM, London Councils, which administers the LLCS, took action against Eddie Stobart Logistics because the company did not provide any documentary evidence about its route into London upon request.
It also stated that it had not issued a driver’s PCN because “the driver is not liable for a Permission Condition 6 offence”.
In an email from The Logistics People’s general manager to Peel, dated 5 September, the company stated: “We believe that any PCN we receive should be passed onto the driver, as it is the driver who is responsible for incurring the particular fine. In most cases where possible, we will contest the particular PCN, in this case we have attempted to do so and have unfortunately been unsuccessful.
“Upon receiving this PCN we have made the relevant action to pay this, given that should we not [have] paid this fine within 14 days of notice, this would [have] increased to £550.”