Scaffolding firm toppled by ineffective management

The traffic commissioner for Wales has revoked the licence of an operator that demonstrated a raft of failings and after concluding it was “extremely unlikely” it would comply in the future.

Glamorgan-based Creo Scaffolding appeared before TC Victoria Davies after evidence emerged on social media that suggested it was operating three HGVs, none of which were specified on the restricted licence. Sole director Gareth Williams failed to provide documents and maintenance records ahead of the hearing and he told the TC that he didn’t think they would be required.

Williams said he had employed a transport manager during 2020 and he expected the person to be responsible for updating the vehicle operator licensing system and dealing with correspondence. However, when it became apparent this wasn’t happening he had dismissed the individual. Williams also claimed he had thought his licence allowed him to operate three lorries, not one, and it was only recently he had checked and discovered no vehicles were specified on the licence.

The TC said the director demonstrated a lack of knowledge about the operator licensing requirements, but she adjourned the PI and allowed him 14 days to provide all the evidence he had assured her he had access to. Williams failed to do this for a second time and following the rescheduled PI, Davies decided to revoke the licence.

In her written decision, the TC said she asked Williams’ solicitor why the operator had not done any of the undertakings he said he would do to demonstrate compliance. “[His] response was that the penny hadn’t dropped, like a number of operators for whom transport is incidental to their business,” she said. “I was asked to accept that, as at the date of the hearing, this was a changed operator.”

The TC said there was very little to put on the positive side: “The operator’s failure to engage with the DVSA following grant of the licence or to familiarise itself with the requirements of the operator licensing regime has meant that the level of knowledge to meet basic requirements of its operator’s licence, even at the date of the inquiry, is sadly absent,” she said. “At its most positive, the starting point for intervention places the case in the serious, if not severe, category.”

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