Sole trader banned for nearly four years

An operator given a suspended jail sentence for waste offences has now had his licence revoked and been disqualified for almost four years.

Sole trader Eric Hale had held a restricted licence since 1992 specifying five HGVs, but he was called to a public inquiry (PI) after one of his vehicles was found to have three wheels with loose wheel nuts.

North West traffic commissioner (TC) Simon Evans was also told that in January 2018 Hale had been sentenced at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to operating an illegal waste site and depositing a considerable volume of controlled waste.

The Golborne PI, which Hale did not attend, heard how his driver defect reporting and walk-around checks were of questionable quality and drivers had failed to comply with drivers’ hours legislation.

The TC found the operator was unfit. He said greed and commercial advantage were significant in the offending that led to the conviction.

In a written decision Evans said: “I cannot be satisfied that Mr Hale can be trusted to operate compliantly. His exclusion from the industry is entirely appropriate.”

Evans disqualified Hale for three years and 10 months, ending on 26 December 2022, adding that it was “a period that mirrors closely the rehabilitation period for the sentence imposed on Mr Hale”.

  • Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now

Farm site cleared for fleet additions for PI Macdonald & Son

An operator that attracted objections from local residents after applying to increase the number of vehicles it runs has been given the green light by the traffic commissioner (TC), with conditions.

TC Nick Denton said the environmental intrusion caused by Stafford-based PI Macdonald & Son operating five HGVs and two trailers, compared to its present two lorries and one trailer, was “likely to be small and within the bounds of acceptability”. However, restrictions have been placed on operating hours and maintenance work.

The company applied to increase its vehicle authorisation at its Ellenhall Farm operating centre, but the TC received representations against the increase from residents living nearby.

In a written decision, the TC said he was satisfied the operator’s premises were a sufficient distance from residents to be relatively small and unlikely to cause real interference.

However, he added that the farm site was unlikely to be suitable for many more vehicles and that if the site were in constant or frequent use there would be road safety implications.”

  • Why not register for our Compliance Bulletin to receive the latest legal and fleet management advice fortnightly? Sign up free now