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.”