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Transport Benevolent Fund - 2019
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January 10 2018
By Mike Jewell

Mike Jewell is the industry’s leading legal journalist, covering all key cases brought before Public Inquries, Tribunals, Magistrates and Crown Courts

Restoration of repute as TM withdrawn

A bid by Kishan Singh Chumber, a Director of Wolverhampton-based Travel Express, for the restoration of his repute as a Transport Manager (TM) was withdrawn at the last minute when he appeared before Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Jim Astle at a Birmingham Public Inquiry.

In January 2015 Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones said that Mr Chumber had lost his repute as a TM and disqualified him from acting as such until he had passed a further CPC exam when he cut the company’s licence from 13 vehicles to eight because of maintenance problems. He also ordered the firm to pay a penalty of £6,500 for local service timetable issues [routeone/Court Report/4 February 2015].

The licence was subsequently revoked after the company failed to appoint a new TM during the period of grace [routeone/Court Report/23 September 2015]. It was granted a fresh eight vehicle licence on condition that Mr Chumber employed a full-time TM, a full-time skilled mechanic, and had nothing to do with vehicle maintenance [routeone/Court Report/23 March 2016].

The DTC said that attached to the company’s eight-vehicle national licence was an undertaking that Mr Chumber would have no role in the transport management of the business. There had been a number of developments since that did not assist Mr Chumber’s application and he had a significant hurdle to overcome.

For Mr Chumber, Simon Newman said that he was seeking to withdraw the application.  Following his advice, Mr Chumber had reflected and decided that now was not the time to proceed with it and he had drawn back from wanting to be appointed as TM on the company’s licence at this point in time. The current TM, Nimrod Astbury, was still in place and would continue.

Mr Astbury said that he had been in position for about 11 months. He devoted at least 35 hours with Travel Express, and he was involved with the maintenance as there was not a lot for a TM to do to keep eight buses on the road. He had his own commercial garage and he devoted about 25 hours a week to that. Mr Chumber was also involved with the maintenance since that part of the undertaking was removed in January. Two fitters were also employed.

Apart from the eight vehicles, other vehicles were being rebuilt as replacements. If that application was granted he would stay on as a second TM, working about 10 hours a week. He would stay on for the foreseeable future if the application was withdrawn or refused.

After the DTC had said that an audit by Lloyd Morgan in February had recommended significant improvements, Mr Astbury that they had all been dealt with.

Following a short adjournment, the DTC indicated that he was prepared to accept the withdrawal of the application. 

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