Skip haulier stripped of O-licence for fronting

A skip haulier who “grossly offended against fair competition” by allowing other businesses to use his O-licence discs has been disqualified from the industry for three years.

Scotland traffic commissioner (TC) Joan Aitken (pictured) found that Carnwath, Lanark-based sole trader William Meikle, who traded as MBS Transport, continued to allow his O-licence discs ?to be used by his limited company, ?MBS Bankwood, as well as brothers Graeme and Eion Robertson, despite encounters with the DVSA.

Meikle’s O-licence was revoked, and he was disqualified as a transport manager for an indefinite period following a public inquiry (PI) in Edinburgh in December. The sanctions came into effect on 8 January.

The TC found that Meikle had been given numerous opportunities to ensure his O-licence was not being used by unauthorised businesses and that maintenance, drivers’ hours and tachograph requirements were met.

The DVSA’s concerns arose after ?a vehicle was stopped in April 2014. ?It showed a disc issued to Meikle’s ?sole trader business, but the driver worked for the Robertsons’ business, ?G&E Recovery.

The vehicle was registered to Graeme Robertson, and the insurance certificate was in the name of Eion Robertson and William Meikle as a partnership, which traded as MBS.

The PI was told that 59 tachograph records that had not been analysed were found in the vehicle dating back to August 2013. In her written decision, the TC said it was clear that Meikle did not have a system for gathering and keeping analogue records or downloading and analysing digital data.

Vehicles on the O-licence had incurred eight roadworthiness prohibitions in five years, four since January 2013. They also received a high number of failures at annual test.

MBS Transport had been parking its vehicles at an unauthorised operating centre and had not notified the TC of changes to maintenance arrangements.

The TC determined that Meikle had been conducting the business through MBS Bankwood instead of the sole trader business. She found that the Robertsons were responsible for ?finding haulage work, controlling ?the vehicles, hiring drivers and ?paying drivers.

“Mr Meikle allowed the Robertsons the cover of his operator licence, ?for these vehicles used by the Roberstons were specified on ?Mr Meikle’s licence and discs were issued and on display,” said Aitken ?in her written decision.

However, Aitken noted that Meikle had been truthful at the hearing and the operator’s vehicles had not received any S-marked prohibitions.

She said Meikle had not changed his behaviour after the encounter in April 2014 or after the interview with the traffic examiner in October 2014 and found that “all that has been wrong continues to be wrong”.

“The last thing I can trust him with is an operator’s licence and the precious discs that go with it, for he has shown that he cannot be trusted and even now he has not been penitent, or compliant, or taken any steps to redress his faults,” added Aitken.

County Tyrone operator fined for obstructing DVA officers

A County Tyrone operator has been fined £750 for failing to supply a Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) enforcement officer with information when requested.

An HGV operated by Mark Lyons, whose application for an O-licence was pending at the time of writing, was spotted by DVA officers on the Warrenpoint dual-carriageway in Newry in November 2014. The DVA alleged that the vehicle had been hired to a third party by the operator.

On 18 January Lyons, of Crevenagh Road, Omagh, was fined £750 for obstruction under the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010 at Newry Magistrates' Court. The operator must also pay a £15 offender levy.

Lyons was fined in November last year for failing to pay the HGV Road User Levy.