Haulier warned for unauthorised parking
Sussex-based Stuart Lyons (Haulage) has been given a formal warning for using an unauthorised operating centre.
The company, which has an international licence to operate 59 vehicles and 55 trailers, has authorised operating centres at Littlehampton and Worthing. But a public inquiry (PI) held at Eastbourne heard that the haulier had allegedly been using Old Lake Lane Nurseries, Barnham, as an unauthorised operating centre and that a neighbour had complained.
Following an undercover operation by DVSA officers a PI was called. At the PI Lyons director Andrew Jenner confirmed that the area to the rear of John Turner Phormiums had been used as an operating centre since June.
Trailers had often been left on site, sometimes awaiting collection by a tractor unit or sometimes waiting to be loaded. Jenner said that the waiting time had not been excessive - between 12 and 15 hours – and that the operator had tried to minimise the detrimental impact of activity on neighbours.
It also became apparent that Lyons believed that an earlier decision had allowed it to use the Old Lake site to park up the trailers. Deputy traffic commissioner (TC) John Baker said in his written report that the key question he had to determine was whether or not the admitted practice of leaving between one and three trailers overnight amounted to using an unauthorised operating centre.
He concluded that it did even if he accepted that the company genuinely believed it would be able to leave the trailers overnight. Baker said: “Having balanced all the factors I have decided that this case can be dealt with by a formal warning and no other regulatory action is required.”
Transport manager disqualified for two years
The former transport manager of Lancashire-based Robinson Transport has lost his repute and been disqualified from acting as a transport manager for two years.
The decision by North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans follows a public inquiry (PI) in September after AdBlue emulators were found fitted to some of the vehicles. Jarod Jeffrey Smith held the role of transport manager at Robinson Transport from its inception in 2007 until he resigned in September that year.
An earlier PI in June into the company itself issued a formal warning and curtailed the licence from 15 to 13 vehicles for 10 days. The recent PI heard that throughout 2015 the fitting of AdBlue emulators was not seen as illegitimate but this changed following a DfT inquiry into their use.
Smith told the PI that eight or nine of the DAFs run by Robinson’s had emulators fitted from 2015 onwards. He explained the devices were often fitted for about £500 to avoid expensive repairs estimated to cost between £3,000 and £5,000.
Evans wrote in his written judgement: “Smith accepted that these admitted matters bring into a sharp focus his repute as transport manager. He entirely accepted that he was complicit in the decision to use vehicles with AdBlue emulators fitted.
"He agreed that it was wrong and reckoned to have learnt from the experience. He asked that I set the circumstances in the context of the operator’s otherwise positive compliance record with which he associated his efforts. Further that he had, albeit belatedly, resigned from his position.”
Evans concluded that Smith needed a period of disqualification “before it can be said he might have regained the repute he has lost”.