Coach driver loses appeal over own licence bid

Manchester-based Khuzema Kapacee, a driver employed by Selwyns Travel, has lost his appeal against the refusal of his bid for a PSV O-Licence of his own.

‘If he reduced his hours with Selwyns he would be earning less than that from them’

Mr Kapacee, trading as Zara Travel, of Warbeck Road, Manchester, had sought a two-vehicle restricted licence before Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Miles Dorrington.

The DTC said the concern was whether or not Mr Kapacee met the main occupation rule, as the PSV work should not be the main occupation.

He had explained that he wanted to do school contracts for the City Council and other private hire work. He had said that if the licence was granted he would reduce the hours he drove for Selwyns Travel from 45 hours a week to 20 hours. He would not drive himself and would pay a self-employed driver £150 a week.

He thought he would earn around £500 a week from a school contract. He would see how the business went and then reduced his hours.

He worked five days a week for Selwyns. He would do all the admin work for his business. He would tell Selwyns if the licence was granted. He agreed that the work he did for his own business would count as “other work” and that it could put his work for Selwyns in difficulties.

Refusing the application, the DTC said that on a rough calculation Mr Kapacee’s net profit would be £15,000-16,000 and if he reduced his hours with Selwyns he would be earning less than that from them.

He was not persuaded that the PSV work would be incidental to his employment with Selwyns. PSV operation was more lucrative than working for someone else.

In his appeal, Mr Kapacee said that the whole process of applying to a Traffic Commissioner was new to him. He misunderstood the purpose of the Public Inquiry (PI) and felt nervous.

He thought the PI would be “merely going through his correspondence”. There had been a misunderstanding and he would like his case reconsidered.

Dismissing the appeal, the Upper Tribunal said that they were not persuaded the DTC was plainly wrong in finding that Mr Kapacee had not shown that his proposed business would be operated in compliance with the ‘main occupation’ rule.

They did not accept that Mr Kapacee was misled about, or given insufficient advance explanation of, the purpose of the PI. The pre-PI literature supplied to Mr Kapacee by the OTC did not indicate that the PI was merely checking paperwork.