O-licences revoked following a string of offences and shortcomings
Two West Midlands hauliers have had their licences revoked after a public inquiry (PI) found that there had been a string of offences and shortcomings. The licence of Derby Haulage and two licences held by Tariq Talib, trading as T&K Transport, were revoked following a PI in October.
Simon Evans, TC for the North West of England, published his written decision last week. He recorded that the call to a PI followed the issue of an “S” marked prohibition on a Derby Haulage truck that was found to be missing a brake pad.
The driver was also found to have falsified tachograph records by using another driver’s card in order to obscure rest requirements.
A follow-up investigation discovered that maintenance was being carried out in-house with inadequate frequency, records were incomplete and the operator had been using an unauthorised operating centre from December 2017.
The operator’s recorded history showed there had been six prohibitions in all with the most recent occurring as late as August 2018.
The sole director and transport manager of Derby Haulage was Mansoor Ahmed, and Tariq Talib became involved because Ahmed was also named as the transport manager on Talib’s licences. Ahmed told the inquiry that he now appreciated that in opening a garage and taking on large amounts of maintenance work, he had lost focus on his own vehicles but that this would be put right.
In his written report Evans said: “Shortcomings concerned not only maintenance and the fitness and serviceability of vehicles but the use of an unauthorised operating centre and a failure to manage drivers so that there was compliance with drivers’ hours.
“Significantly, in my view, fair competition issues had arisen on two occasions during the hearing, when it had become clear the operator was quite prepared to place his company’s business interests ahead of the need for strict licence compliance.”
He concluded that “the negatives very substantially outweigh any positives” and ruled that repute had been lost and financial standing had not been shown, mainly because the operator did not produce full documentation at the PI.
The TC noted that the two Tariq Talib licences had enjoyed a largely unremarkable history since their grant in May 2014, but said repute and professional competence had been brought into question because of the “nature of the decision to offer him [Mansoor Ahmed] the role” [of transport manager].
Talib had indicated that he wished to surrender his two licences and apply for a replacement licence as a new entity, but the TC said he must take away his licences at the same time as that of Derby Haulage.
He said: “Surrender at the behest of the operator is inappropriate in the light of my findings. Mansoor Ahmed has lost his repute and the operator is therefore without professional competence. Revocation in accordance with Section 27(1) (a) of the Act will take effect in respect of both licences.”
Environment Agency warns on compliant waste disposal
The Environment Agency has warned small businesses not to give their rubbish to illegal waste operators. The warning came after a van used to dump waste illegally in Berkshire was seized and crushed by the agency.
The van was destroyed as part of a continuing criminal investigation into the large scale dumping of commercial waste.
Helen Hancock, an enforcement officer with the agency in Berkshire, said that any business has a “legal responsibility to safely contain and legally dispose of any waste produced”.
She added: “Using illegal waste dealers may seem tempting in terms of cost, but it can help fund organised crime. All businesses have a responsibility for their commercial waste and if your waste is found on an illegal site you could be facing fines at court.”
The advice reinforces the legal position which means that anybody employing a waste disposal haulier needs to ensure that they are using a legitimate carrier. If not, both the illegal operator and the firm disposing of the waste can be prosecuted.
The Environment Agency has closed two illegal dumping sites a day on average in the past year, and seized a number of vehicles connected with waste crime throughout the UK.