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December 06 2017
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

TC refuses restricted licence application

It was rare for a sole trader to be granted a restricted PSV O-Licence because it was difficult for them to meet the main occupation rule.

This was emphasised by Traffic Commisisoner (TC) Nick Denton, when he refused to grant Worcester taxi operator Gary Meiklejohn a one-vehicle restricted licence. Mr Meiklejohn had requested a Public Inquiry after a proposal to refuse his application.

The TC said that though Mr Meiklejohn had produced a business forecast from his accountants, there was no split between the projected taxi earnings and the PSV earnings.

Mr Meiklejohn said that the minibus would be part time. He estimated that the probable earnings would be 35% the minibus and 65% the taxi business. He still wanted to run the taxis - he was just looking at providing a little bit of help for care home residents with the minibus. He had already purchased a minibus for £9,000. He had been led astray a little bit as he had not known the procedure. If he had realised what the procedure was he would not have bought it until he got an O-Licence. The person who he had bought it from had said that he would not have a problem getting an O-Licence. 

The TC said that according to Mr Meiklejohn’s latest tax return, the taxi income was quite small and it almost did not require a great deal of imagination that the minibus would bring in more. Under almost any circumstances the minibus was going to earn more than the taxis. Turnover with one minibus would be almost £50,000 a year and more if it was intensively used. Restricted licence holders had to know the rules about drivers’ hours and vehicle maintenance as standard licence holders had to. That was why it was very rare to grant a restricted licence to a sole trader.

Mr Meiklejohn said that he would be using Tachomaster. He knew the drivers’ hours rules as he had done the Driver CPC course, and he would go for another day’s training if the licence was granted.

After the TC had said that he did not feel he had enough evidence of the projected earnings to grant the licence, Mr Meiklejohn said that he did not see that he would ever earn £50,000 with the minibus.

Refusing the application, the TC said that one minibus could quickly get up to £50,000 and some quickly got up to £100,000. If Mr Meiklejohn made a further application he would need projected figures based on reality, showing the split. A better route would be to apply for a national licence, employing a TM for a few hours a week or Mr Meiklejohn passing the TM’s CPC himself.

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