Transport manager banned from industry for two years


A transport manager has been stopped from working in the industry for two years after the East of England traffic commissioner (TC) ruled that serious convictions had undermined his ability to manage drivers.

TC Richard Turfitt (pictured) also concluded that Justin Ffrench, director and transport manager of Iver, Buckinghamshire-based J Ffrench, was ignorant of the most serious infringements and guidance in the DVSA’s guide to maintaining roadworthiness.

Ffrench failed to demonstrate the benefits of attending a two-day seminar for transport managers and operators during a Cambridge public inquiry. It was called after DVSA examiners stopped one of the company’s HGVs in November 2015 and found it was not displaying a valid licence disc and had not been specified on the licence. The vehicle had also exceeded the maximum permitted train weight manufacturer’s plate, while the driver had failed to use a tachograph driver card and failed to print out details of the vehicle and enter the required data on the printout. The vehicle was issued with a prohibition for three immediate defects, one of which was S-marked.

Further investigations revealed additional problems, such as the operator not having any evidence of action taken on driver infringements and an unsatisfactory written defect reporting system. The operator had also been relying on preventative maintenance inspection sheets with references dating back to 1997.

The TC noted that Ffrench’s professional driving licence recorded a number of convictions, which had not been declared, including a repeat offence of driving while disqualified, where he received a suspended prison sentence, community service and an 18-month driving disqualification.

The TC was also made aware that the company’s Fors accreditation had been terminated after evidence emerged that it had displayed a Fors gold logo when only bronze status had been awarded. The bronze accreditation has since been restored. He suspended the licence for 14 days and recorded that the company’s repute had been tarnished.

  • This article was published in the 16 June issue of Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe today?

Operator fined £300,000 after worker fatally crushed


A Derbyshire waste management and plant hire company must pay over £350,000 in fines and costs after a worker died when he was crushed between two vehicles.

Matthew Lambert was refuelling at the rear of a road sweeper at Leedale’s site in November 2013 when a tipper reversed into him. He was trapped between the two vehicles and died of head injuries.

On 31 May, Derby Crown Court was told that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there were no marked or identified pedestrian routes at the firm’s site, nor were there rules or controls around how vehicles were reversed.

The HSE said lighting at the site was “below the required standard”.

The company, of Heage Road Industrial Estate, Heage Road, Ripley, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £300,000 with £50,737 in costs.