Firstline International O-licence revoked for records and drivers' hours offences

A Motherwell haulage firm has been stripped of its O-licence following the discovery of numerous records and drivers’ hours  offences by the DVSA.

Scottish traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken revoked Firstline International’s O-licence, effective from 31 July, following a public inquiry (PI) that took place in Edinburgh in March.

Director William Lambie was disqualified from applying for or holding an O-licence in any other traffic area for two years from the end of July.

He has also lost his repute and has been disqualified from acting as a transport manager (TM) for two years.

Drivers Steven Lambie and Scott Henderson had their HGV driving licences suspended for five weeks, beginning 10 July.

The decision was made after a DVSA investigation uncovered offences including instances of drivers failing to record their journeys, the use of magnets to interrupt tachograph recording, defective tachographs and an incorrectly calibrated tachograph unit. Drivers had also exceeded fortnightly driving limits.

A DVSA examiner also found no systems to ensure that the Working Time Directive was adhered to, no records of drivers having completed their Driver CPC, and no evidence of action following drivers’ hours infringements.

Two drivers Stephen Lambie, who is William Lambie’s son, and Henderson, had also incurred penalty points for speeding and mobile phone usage.

The PI heard that William Lambie allowed other drivers to use his driver’s card on 36 occasions. He had also failed to inform the DVSA about problems with his eyesight and the TC determined that he had applied for a digital driver card with the intention of making false records.

The director also failed to disclose the identity of the drivers that used his card to the DVSA and the TC.

“This is no way to treat a traffic commissioner,” TC Aitken said in her written decision, “let alone an investigation by the DVSA who have the duty to investigate these matters in the interest of public safety and the protection of fair competition.”

She concluded that if William Lambie is to return to a TM position, he will need to be assisted by another qualified TM, given the problems with his eyesight.

Summing up: If an operator is to return to the industry, it will need to ensure that drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements are met.

Eddie Stobart applies for new Dirft operating centre

Eddie Stobart Logistics is seeking an O-licence for a new site at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (Dirft).

The company has applied to the traffic commissioner for permission to run 40 vehicles and 111 trailers from a new operating centre, located in Crick Road, Dirft, Kilsby, Rugby.

A spokesman for the operator confirmed that the application is for a new O-licence at the new site, which is currently being developed next to the Tesco Grocery rail terminal.

Eddie Stobart has operated from Dirft for a number of years, but signed a new lease for the 420,000ft² rail-connected DC last Autumn. It is due to open this year.

Eddie Stobart Logistics made an underlying pre-tax profit of £14.8m in the period  from 10 April 2014, when a majority stake in the firm was sold by Stobart Group, to 28 February 2015.

Former Tesco distribution director Alex Laffey joined Eddie Stobart Logistics as its chief executive in May.