Teeside's Scott Bros fined for illegal dumping
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.
AZ Haulage banned over safety issues
An Ashbourne operator whose vehicle and trailer were pulled over by the DVSA and found to be in an “awful” state, has had its licence revoked and been disqualified.
AZ Haulage sole director and transport manager Zeeshan Ali was also told by a traffic commissioner that HM Revenue & Customs would probably investigate why he thought he could continue working “for a couple of hours” each week, despite the fact he was furloughed.
Ali appeared at a Golborne public inquiry before Deputy TC Simon Evans after his lorry was pulled over twice in two months. On both occasions his vehicle attracted S-marked prohibitions, with multiple defects found on his trailer and two on his tractor unit. On the first encounter with the DVSA, his insecure load and defective tyre also led to fixed penalties being issued. Ali’s vehicle subsequently attracted a further pair of immediate prohibitions a few months later for a deep tyre cut with cords exposed and another tyre with the tread below the legal limit.
A DVSA desk-based assessment was marked unsatisfactory and the operator had produced none of the records requested. In the documents produced to the DTC at the PI, missing mileage was also identified and Ali admitted that a period of continuous driving without a break had occurred. He also admitted to not keeping his lorry at the nominated operating centre.
During the PI, Ali told DTC Evans he had now employed a driver and that he had ceased driving himself. He also said he had been furloughed between May to August, but although he was not physically involved in the business, he could carry out the necessary work within two hours. The director admitted there had been mistakes in his choice of trailer supplier and that he had failed to carry out checks to ensure loads were secured, but that he was now “getting a bit more professional”.
But in a written decision, Evans said: “Road safety had been seriously compromised on three occasions with sixteen prohibitable items being detected.” He found that Ali’s repute had been lost and revoked the company’s licence. He also disqualified him from acting as a director for 18 months and as a transport manager for 12 months.