NUMBER ONE FOR COACH & BUS

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October 04 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


Two-year disqualification for
Directors after revocation

The TC made the disqualification after it was found that multiple offences were committed by a range of drivers, including tachograph offences

‘An investigation led to the discovery of 17 occasions when a vehicle was being driven without a driver card inserted in the tachograph’

Mohammed Suleman and George Glover, Directors of Oldham-based S&S Travel Services, were disqualified from holding or obtaining a PSV O-Licence for two years after the company’s eight-vehicle national licence was revoked by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans.

Neither the company, of Shaw Road, Oldham, nor its directors, appeared at the Golborne Public Inquiry.

The failure to record drivers’ hours accurately placed at risk the objectives of road safety, avoiding the deployment of tired drivers and safeguarding other road users

Traffic Examiner Aidan McKay said that following an encounter with one of the company’s vehicles on 21 July 2016 at Lightwater Valley theme park in North Yorkshire, an investigation led to the discovery of 17 occasions when a vehicle was being driven without a driver card inserted in the tachograph.  

He had a subsequent, very recent contact with Asif Din, a manager employed by the company, who had led him to believe operations had been substantially scaled back with only one vehicle in use on a school contract and the others parked up.

He had made little headway on the investigation into whether other offences had been committed, and saw little evidence of systems with any supporting documentation in place. He saw further evidence of the use of a vehicle deployed to Edinburgh, the day before the visit, again with no card in use.

In his view, the company simply did not know who was driving the vehicle. There was an absence of action to ensure compliance with drivers’ hour’s regulations, and in particular no adequate systems as would reveal instances of driving without a card inserted.

Former Transport Manager (TM) Robert Luckman said that he had stood down for health reasons in March or April. His experience as a TM for the company, was ‘erratic’. He ‘could not get any action from them at all’.  He said there was no cooperation from the directors or manager, and they did not listen to him almost from the outset of his employment. 

He accepted he had not resigned his position, as he knew he ought to have done. He referred to a constant struggle for the business to get drivers, blaming the company’s attitude, which had included bouncing cheques on drivers. He said that his co-TM, Peter Graham worked for Abbey Coaches (Darwen) and had no involvement with the S&S licence.

In his decision, the TC said that multiple offences were committed by a range of different drivers. That conduct in respect of the single vehicle continued over an extended period of months. The failure to record drivers’ hours accurately placed at risk the objectives of road safety, avoiding the deployment of tired drivers and safeguarding other road users.

The TC disqualified Mr Graham from acting as a TM for a period of two years. He issued 73-year-old Mr Luckman with a warning after he undertook that he would resign his TM roles for Airline Travel Hub and Royton Minibuse, not pursue his application to be TM on the licence of Farid Saad, trading as Swift Travel, and not apply to be a TM on any licence, now or in the future. 



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