Rapid audit to demonstrate compliance

A haulier wanting to work as a DX Freight subcontractor has been given seven months to obtain a satisfactory compliance audit after making errors in its licence application.

Rapid Transport Essex applied to run five HGVs, but it aroused concerns after failing to name Michael Barrett as a director, even though he was listed at Companies House at the time the application was lodged. Barrett was connected to a string of other businesses whose licences were either surrendered or revoked over the last seven years.

At a Cambridge public inquiry, director Karen Barrett – wife of Michael – told TC Richard Turfitt that her husband had no ties to Rapid Transport Essex beyond providing a start-up loan of £85,000. She said the intention had been to remove him as director once the money had been repaid, but due to the concerns raised by the TC’s office he now had no financial interest.

Summing up, Turfitt said: “I accept that the provision of a joint bank account referring to Mr Barrett does not equate to a sophisticated attempt to mislead. “However, the failure to declare the appointment of Mr Barrett was misleading but soon identified.”

He granted an interim licence and requested a full compliance audit so he could decide whether to provide full authorisation: “That grant is subject to a condition that Michael Terrence Barrett will have no involvement with the management or operation of this transport undertaking,” he added.

Teeside's Scott Bros fined for illegal dumping

Environment Agency

A Teesside haulier has been fined £36,000 after illegally dumping almost 4,000 tonnes of waste on the site of a former landfill.

Scott Bros was prosecuted by the Environment Agency (EA) after investigations revealed the company had failed to apply for an environmental permit before depositing waste plastic, metal, bricks and disused road planings on land outside Thorpe Thewles. In 2017, the landowner approached the company, which is authorised to operate 40 HGVs, for help in raising and levelling a 2.5 hectare field with inert soil and stone to improve its use for grazing.

Teesside Magistrates’ court heard how the company had applied for conditional planning approval but it had failed to apply for the environmental permit and, following a tip-off, the EA discovered thousands of tonnes had been dumped on the land, some of which needed to be tested to ensure it was not hazardous. The company produced paperwork showing the origin and details of the waste that had been deposited, but enquiries with other companies revealed that considerably more lorry loads of material had been transported there.

The court agreed the company had acted recklessly and stood to gain a significant advantage over a lawfully operated site. In mitigation, the court heard that Scot Bros had a previously unblemished regulatory history. During interview, a director said that the failure to apply for a permit had been an oversight, and that the company had “jumped the gun”. It was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,720.63.