Rogue operator has O-licence revoked

O-licence


Mold-based haulier Flintshire Logistics has had its O-licence revoked after being found to be a front operation for a disqualified haulage boss.

In a written decision following a July public inquiry (PI) in Welshpool, traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones, disqualified Winston Rogers from holding or obtaining an O-licence for 10 years, describing him as a rogue with “an appalling history of deceit”. In early 2012, Rogers was disqualified following a PI into a transport partnership he was involved with that traded as Abbeylands Transport which had a history of vehicle maintenance and drivers hours’ problems.

Separate company Abbeylands Transport Ltd was granted a standard national O-licence in May 2012, with Rogers’ wife Vanessa as sole director. However, in March last year, the licence was revoked for repeated failures to supply regular audits, and she was disqualified for 12 months.

In November 2017 government inspectors in Cumbria stopped a truck operated by Flintshire Logistics and found an illegal emissions cheat device fitted, designed to bypass its use of AdBlue. The company, which had been granted a standard national O-licence in June 2017 for five vehicles and five trailers, had three vehicles in its possession.

DVSA examiners subsequently visited the firm’s operating centre in Pontybodkin and discovered that Rogers had persuaded a friend - Malcolm Owen - to be sole director of Flintshire Logistics at the time it was set-up, to hide his own involvement. When Owen later resigned from that position, Rogers persuaded his mother Doris Rogers to be a director.

At the time of the investigation no brake checks were evident and no transport manager had been in place for at least five months. Owen had also been transport manager at the business for a period, but examiners found that it was Rogers who was giving instructions to and answered questions from drivers.

The examiners concluded that the business was a front for Rogers. TC Jones said: “Rogers has consistently and persistently sought to mislead regulatory authorities as to the true state of affairs.

“This resulted in his disqualification by me in 2012. Later he sought to circumvent the disqualification by using his wife as a director. Later still he sought to continue his deceit of regulatory authorities by persuading Owen to be a director and later, when he resigned, he used his mother as someone who was director in name only.

“A rogue such as Rogers merits a disqualification that reflects the scale and persistence of his deceit.” The TC said that Owen had lost his repute as a transport manager and disqualified Rogers’s mother, Doris - listed as sole director of Flintshire Logistics at the time of the PI - for three years.

He said: “She knew, or should have known, that he (Winston) had previously been disqualified, similarly she knew, or should have known, that her daughter-in-law was previously disqualified by me for a deceit that was replicated in this case.”