In refusing to return an impounded vehicle to Liverpool-based Boulevard Enterprises, Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans authorised DVSA to dispose of that vehicle, plus a second vehicle belonging to the company that had been subsequently impounded.
The company had sought the return of one of the two vehicles impounded by DVSA at a Golborne Public Inquiry on the grounds it had not known that the vehicle was being used, or had been used, without an O-Licence, but failed to attend.
Traffic Enforcement Manager (TEM) Joanne Henharen said that she impounded a 14-seater Ford Transit on 3 June. Originally a 16 seater vehicle, two seats had been removed so that there was space for luggage at the rear.
The vehicle was laden with seven passengers with suitcases being taken to the Evans Road Airport Car Park from Liverpool Airport. There was no O-Licence disc displayed.
The driver Patrick Kelly stated that the vehicle was being operated by Boulevard. The vehicle did not hold a Class 5 commercial PSV test required for the type of work carried out. It was equipped with an analogue tachograph and the driver had not inserted a chart.
The two-year calibration of the tachograph had not been carried out, having been due in August 2017. Receipts in the vehicle showed that there had been 11 previous trips to and from the car park that day.
The company did not hold an O-Licence. An application for a licence had been refused in November 2017 and a further application withdrawn in March 2018.
The vehicle was issued with an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition for four immediate defects and one delayed item.
On 10 November 2017 the company was issued with a warning for operating without an O-Licence after a vehicle was checked at Liverpool Airport. The vehicle was given an immediate prohibition. No tachograph was fitted.
On 24 November 2017 a vehicle was checked at Liverpool Airport driven by Mr Kelly who was not using a tachograph. There was no O-Licence and no PSV test. The vehicle was not impounded as an application was pending, which she now knew was unsuccessful.
ANPR checks revealed prolific journeys by both vehicles from the car park to Liverpool Airport in 53 days preceding 3 June. The ANPR evidence showed that the company had continued operating after being warned about illegal use and the DVSA’s authority to impound.
The TC said that the documentary evidence before him was to the effect that the registered keeper of the vehicle was Tourneo Travel. That company was dissolved on 11 November 2014.
Michael Whitty, the brother of Mehony Whitty, the sole Director of Boulevard Enterprises, told TEM Henharen that the vehicle in question had been written off but bought back by the claimant company.
No supporting evidence of any kind has been provided to corroborate the assertion of Michael Whitty, who while being involved with the claimant company had no officer role within it.
Refusing to return the vehicle, the TC said that none of the grounds for its return had been made out. Once the time for an appeal had elapsed, the DVSA could dispose of the vehicle.
The second vehicle was impounded on 11 July. No claim for its return had been made by anybody within the required time frame and that vehicle could also be disposed of by the DVSA.
Michael Whitty subsequently pleaded guilty to assaulting TE Tim Aspull during the July impounding and was ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work; and to pay £100 to the TE, plus a £90 victim surcharge and £85 costs.