Immediate revocation after second PI in a year

E J Lewis and Sons failed to respond to correspondence, which was a factor in the decision to immediately revoke its licence

A second Public Inquiry (PI) within 12 months has led to the immediate revocation of the two-vehicle O-Licence held by Clynderwen-based E J Lewis and Sons by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Jones. Though holding that the repute as a Transport Manager (TM) of sole Director Gary Bevan was not lost, the TC directed that any application involving Mr Bevan should require him to personally appear before a TC.

The company failed to attend a Cardiff PI. The licence was first called to a PI in August 2013 because of maintenance concerns. The outcome included a number of orders that sought to improve compliance, including one relating to audits.

Another PI was held in August 2018 as a result of both maintenance and drivers’ hours concerns. The number of discs authorised was reduced to two; the company’s repute was said to be tarnished; professional competence was lost and a three-month period of grace was granted.

TM Aneurin Lewis lost his good repute until he attended a specialist two-day TM refresher course. Mr Bevan also lost his repute as a TM until he attended a specialist two-day course, which he did.

Undertakings were given including another one to have an audit which was to be copied to the TC’s office and to the local DVSA.  As a result of concerns over in-house maintenance there was also an undertaking that the mechanic employed would attend a specialist course to improve his skills as a mechanic and to do so within six months. Proof of attendance was to be provided to the OTC.

Revoking the licence, the TC said that letters were sent out on 29 March and 9 April chasing compliance with the undertaking for the mechanic to attend a specialist course. The company failed to respond and proposal-to-revoke letters were issued to all known addresses.

The company replied stating that it no longer had its own mechanic and that maintenance was now contracted out. The company had not informed his office as required of the change in maintenance arrangements.

Eventually, on 14 May 2019 a letter was issued from his office asking the company to give consideration to reducing its discs down to one and for the audit to be brought forward. The company failed to reply.

After the call-in letter was sent, a letter was received on 8 August advising that the company had now ceased trading and wanted to surrender the licence. The letter indicated that the surrender that was sought was not immediate as the owner sought to sell the business, it being said that two parties were interested in the business.

This was an operator that did not have a good compliant history and despite its repute being tarnished a year ago, it had failed in its responsibilities. The requirement to notify him of changes in maintenance arrangements were important, as were the requirements to comply with undertakings that were agreed by the company, based on safety considerations. Failure to respond to correspondence was unacceptable.