TC to consider additional evidence of unregistered service

Firm says it has not ‘deliberately fallen foul of what was “very complex” legislation’

Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans is to consider additional evidence about the operation of an unregistered service by Liverpool-based Anthony and Jane Mullane before deciding what action, if any, to take against their two-vehicle restricted O-Licence.

The partners, trading as A and J Taxis, had initially been called before the TC because of concerns over main occupation, drivers’ hours, a failure to notify a conviction, non-compliance with an undertaking not to operate vehicles with eight passenger seats or less without obtaining written permission, and the operation of the unregistered service.

When the case first came before the TC, Mr Mullane said that he held a special restricted O-Licence and operated a registered bus service called Taxi One Bus Service. Traffic Examiner (TE) Tim Aspull had established that the bus service, which he had been operating for three years, was not registered. That was corrected within 48 hours.

He agreed that the minibus, which had less than eight passenger seats, had been operating under his PSV O-Licence on the service without a PSV MoT. He said he had thought it was covered by the O-Licence, which he had thought had replaced his special restricted O-Licence. The fact the bus service had not been registered was not his fault.

When the special restricted O-Licence was transferred over to the partnership from his name, the registration was cancelled without anyone telling him. He agreed he had been operating the small minibus on the service for three years. He said it had now been licensed as a private hire taxi and it now operated as it should. (routeone/Court Report/3 July).

When the hearing resumed the TE said that he had been contacted by Mersey Travel who complained about the operation of the service to a Take That concert at Anfield on 6 June. Their concern was that the service was only registered to operate on match days.

Mr Mullane said that 6 June was one of three concerts at Anfield they had operated to, using five vehicles, operating under both his restricted and special restricted O-Licences.

The TC said that Mr Mullane had sent an email to Leeds in October 2018 saying he would be providing a service to three concerts exactly the same as to football matches. There was no reply to that email as it had been sent to the wrong address, the address having changed. After the first hearing he emailed Leeds asking for confirmation of the legitimacy of that operation. That email was replied to saying that a variation of the timetable would need to be submitted.

Asked why he had not done anything after not receiving a reply from the original email Mr Mullane said he had been waiting for Liverpool FC to get permission for the concerts. If he had been told to vary the timetable after his first email he would have done so. He had not deliberately fallen foul of what was “very complex” legislation.

The TC is to announce his decision in writing at a future date.