Licence curtailed for communication failures

HMRC

A traffic commissioner said he had been misled after a Felixstowe haulier failed to notify him it had changed its operating centre and was using an unauthorised transport manager.

Eastern TC Richard Turfitt described the situation regarding Liam Molloy Transport as “a bad case” and said there was a need for deterrent action following an appearance at a Cambridge public inquiry.

As well as relying on an unauthorised operating centre at Felixstowe docks, the company had not told the TC that the listed transport manager Liam Molloy had retired due to ill health in 2019.

Instead, nominated CPC holder Ian Stuart had been acting to ensure compliance since that time.

A roadside stop of one of Liam Molloy Transport’s vehicles in December 2018 uncovered a host of issues, including that the vehicle was out of annual test, as well as four drivers’ hours offences.

The driver was also handed a fixed penalty notice for an insufficient daily rest offence.

A follow-up site visit revealed a “lamentable” test history, with an initial pass rate of 33.33% between 2015 and 2018 and a 0% pass rate from 27 July 2018.

Director Emma Stuart said she had bought the business from Molloy in October 2018 and the TC noted that there were now additional driver checks, weekly downloads and the use of RHA analysis software, but there were still too many driver detectable defects occurring without being reported.

He allowed Ian Stuart’s appointment, albeit with a warning and cut the licence by 50% from two vehicles and two trailers for one month.

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Throughout the unprecedented disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, hauliers have had to explore 'smarter' and socially distanced ways to undertake their day to day compliance.

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