Licence loss warning for bridge strikes

HMRC

The senior traffic commissioner has written to all HGV operators warning them that a bridge strike by one of their vehicles could result in the loss of their O-licence.

The reminder came ahead of Network Rail relaunching a campaign about the problem of bridge strikes and revealing Britain’s “most-bashed” bridges.
It said the structures are struck five times every day on average and that the Watling Street bridge on the A5 in Leicestershire was hit every fortnight in the last year.

Network Rail said that with Black Friday and the Christmas rush approaching and larger vehicles expected on the country’s roads, drivers needed to ‘Wise Up, Size Up’ before setting out.

Operators are warned to assess the risks and ensure routes are planned in advance; check that drivers, transport managers and planners are all adequately trained and that drivers are given suitable information about their vehicles.

Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive said: “There’s real headway being made and we’re seeing a drop in bridge strikes, but we must keep up this momentum to avoid these dangerous and costly incidents.”

Truck down the pan for toilet supplier

Richard Turfitt

A portable toilet supplier whose work plummeted by 85% during the pandemic has had its licence temporarily curtailed following unsatisfactory traffic and vehicle examiner investigations.

D&P Luxury Toilets in High Wycombe was called to a Cambridge public inquiry after the DVSA uncovered problems, including a lack of tachograph records, incidences where vehicles were driven without driver cards, no evidence of a driver non-compliance system, and a lack of training and management of preventative maintenance inspections, with intervals exceeded.

The operator, which holds an O-licence for four trucks and supplies outside temporary toilet facilities to outdoor events, previously had its licence curtailed by one vehicle for five days in 2017 following an earlier maintenance investigation.

TC Richard Turfitt heard how driver cards and vehicle units were now regularly downloaded, a new contractor had been employed and all maintenance was now conducted by its maintenance provider.

Directors John Curtis and Theodore Terkelsen had also attended a hybrid O-licence awareness course.

The TC acknowledged this was the company’s second PI, but that there had been improvements and it had been under pressure due to a significant reduction in business. 

He cut the licence by one vehicle for 14 days and concluded: “Current trading conditions allow me to take deterrent action against the operator’s licence, without threatening its ability to meet immediate demand.”