PCS Recycling O-licence revoked after investigation finds 'unsatisfactory system' for brake testing

Upminster-based PCS Recycling has had its restricted O-licence for 17 vehicles revoked following an investigation that revealed an unsatisfactory system of brake testing at the company.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Eastbourne, Sarah Bell, London and the South East traffic commissioner (TC) also disqualified its directors, Patrick James Corbally and Patrick Lee Corbally for four years saying they were “unfit to hold a licence.”

The firm was granted an O-licence at a PI in March 2014, which was called due to an adverse history on a previous licence, but in 2015 the DVSA carried out an inspection into the company marked unsatisfactory.

PCS Recycling was called to another PI in October 2017 after Patrick James Corbally and Patrick Lee Corbally received suspended prison sentences for illegally depositing waste, including potentially hazardous material, in 2012 and 2013.

At that PI the company said its trucks were being given roller brake tests at every other preventative maintenance inspection (PMI). However, in November 2017, the operator received an S-marked prohibition after loose wheel nuts and an emissions cheat device were discovered on one of its vehicles.

A DVSA follow-up investigation in January 2018 found that PMI reports did not record any metered brake performance checks or road tests. Driver daily defect reports showed mainly nil defects but where defects were recorded, no action or rectification work was shown. In-house driver defect sheets had no provision to show defects were being reported to a responsible person, and the company’s maintenance contract was not available at the time of the DVSA visit.

Roadside encounters since May 2017 found a significant amount of drivers’ hours infringements as well as safety inspection sheets that did not record tyre tread depth or brake test results.

PCS Recycling told the TC it had recently engaged a transport consultant to carry out an audit, there had been recent staff training, and that it would now carry out a roller brake test at every PMI. However, TC Bell said: “This is a bad case. There have been numerous previous chances, including after the directors’ convictions for serious offences.

“The operator and both directors have proven themselves as unwilling to put compliance before commercial concerns. Despite copious advice and opportunities to prove themselves, they have instead chosen to be disingenuous, with a reckless approach to risk. It is only right and just that I now remove all concerned from the industry for a substantial period, to protect the hard working legitimate industry and for public protection.”

The TC said she also believed the emissions cheat device had been fitted by the operator.

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