Operator licences revoked after trust breaks down

HMRC

Two Notts-based operators that “severely damaged the trust” placed in them by the traffic commissioner have had their licences revoked and been put out of business.

North East of England deputy TC Fiona Harrington said both Keith Bishton, trading as DD Vehicle Services and Gary Harby, trading as Wizard Transport, had not been open and honest to the DVSA or the TC to circumstances that stemmed from a conviction in 2019.

A PI heard how in October 2018, a vehicle driven by Harby but specified against Bishton’s licence was stopped in Suffolk.

It was found that Harby did not hold an O-licence and so the DVSA prosecuted both men and each were convicted in 2019.

Bishton notified the OTC of his conviction, but Harby didn’t, meaning his application for an O-licence was subsequently granted.

At the PI, the DTC found that although Bishton’s company had systems in place to deal with undertakings and test results were close to the national average, DD Vehicle Services had attracted an immediate prohibition for a trailer after serious road safety defects were found.

The operator had also received warning letters from the DVSA about shortcomings in its administration of licence records and apparent failings in notifying the TC in changes to its operating centre and maintainer.

In a written decision, TC Harrington added that she did not consider Bishton had been completely open to the DVSA or to her about the actual arrangements in place between him and Bishton and the use of the HGV that was stopped in Suffolk.

As regards Harby and Wizard Transport, the TC said its licence had only been in force since 2019 and so there was little other compliance history to consider.

But she said the offending conduct that led to the conviction, his failure to disclose the conviction and his additional failure to notify changes in financial standing meant trust had broken down.

Summing up, she said both operators should be put out of business: “I consider a less onerous sanction than revocation is not appropriate given the seriousness of the shortcomings found and the need for a robust approach in these circumstances to uphold the integrity and efficacy of the regulatory regime.”

Bishton was also found to have lost his repute as transport manager and disqualified indefinitely.

DVSA allows remote Driver CPC training

DVSA has confirmed that classroom delivery of Driver CPC periodic training has been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak and, as a temporary alternative, it will give approved trainers authorisation to deliver accepted courses remotely via digital platforms.

As a result, logistics training specialist SP Training is launching a series of online Driver CPC courses after welcoming DVSA’s announcement. SP Training courses suitable for remote delivery will be split into 3.5-hour sessions to encourage driver engagement and delivered in a live webinar style.

The usual conditions of course approval will be met and the platforms will be suitable for remote auditing. It is expected that hauliers operating primarily in the automotive and fashion logistics sectors, which are currently experiencing lower volumes, will take the opportunity to deliver and catch-up on periodic training. Further details are available by contacting info@sptraininguk.com.

Robin Brown, SP Training chairman (pictured), said: “We welcome the decision by the DVSA to allow remote delivery of periodic training and have responded by offering a series of Driver CPC courses delivered online by our approved trainers. Remote training options give operators greater flexibility to comply with current guidelines and allow drivers to undergo training while isolating and social distancing.”