Interim authority granted to two hauliers following compliance concerns

calendar 2021

A traffic commissioner has been persuaded to grant interim authority to two connected hauliers for three months, after expressing concerns about the transport manager’s ability to exercise effective and continuous management.

Eastern region TC Richard Turfitt said MDL Plant and Burman Plant Hire could both operate the number of vehicles they applied for - five HGVs and one trailer and two HGVs and one trailer respectively - but he needed to be satisfied about the management of both businesses before he granted full authority. Both hauliers appeared before the TC at a Cambridge public inquiry after their applications failed to satisfy the deputy traffic commissioner that they should be granted.

MDL Plant’s director, Paul Snow, was listed as being the proposed transport manager for Burman Plant Hire, but according to Turfitt, the compliance history of another business Snow had been transport manager for raised questions in relation to future compliance. In particular, he pointed to the annual test failure rate at Miles Drainage, which had been 34%.

At the PI, Snow said he would have full access to the company’s web-based tachograph analysis system and, as he worked in the same specialist commercial sector as the applicant, he also had an in-depth understanding of the business.

The TC referred to other areas of concern that arose at Miles Drainage, such as initial training and induction of drivers on drivers’ hours, loading techniques and driving licence checks. However, he was told that maintenance arrangements for MDL Plant Hire would be different to those used by Miles Drainage and rolling road brake tests would be taking place, occurring at every PMI. Burman Plant Hire also had different arrangements with rolling brake tests taking place at every PMI too.

In his written decision, TC Turfitt said: “I was persuaded to grant applications for interim authority for a limited period of three months to allow both applicants to satisfy me that I may proceed to substantive grant. All of the systems described in evidence and summarised above, depend on the ability of Mr Snow. Mr Snow will also provide me with evidence that he has received training on how to manage and read laden roller brake test reports during his planned CPC refresher course.”

Jail for lorry driver who killed RAF pilot Good Samaritan

An HGV driver who caused the death of an RAF helicopter pilot who had parked up on the M40 to help out following a collision, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.

Malcolm Clarkson pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving after he drove into the back of Scott McConnell’s car between junctions 12 and 13 on 19 November 2019.

McConnell, 26, had stopped to assist after two other vehicles had been involved in a collision and had parked up to await assistance.

Warwick crown court heard how McConnell, who had just qualified as an RAF pilot, was on the phone to Warwickshire police when his car was struck by Clarkson’s Scania at 61mph. A forensic collision investigation report concluded that Clarkson had been talking on a hands free kit moments before the collision and he braked just 24 metres, or one second, prior to the impact.

Police performed CPR on McConnell until paramedics arrived, but he did not regain consciousness and died the following morning in hospital.

Police staff investigator Liam Ryan said: “There is no doubt that being on the phone hands free moments before the collision distracted Clarkson to the extent that he was unable to react to the road ahead as he was not giving it his full attention.”

Ryan added: “Whilst the sentence demonstrates the seriousness of this offence, and Scott’s family can be proud of his actions, unfortunately nothing can bring Scott back to his family.” Clarkson was also banned from driving for six years and nine months.