Concerns over the ability to meet the drivers' hours rules and the main occupation criteria has led to the refusal of a bid for a one-vehicle restricted licence by Runcorn-based Bryan Jennings by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Simon Evans following a Golborne Public Inquiry.
In his decision the TC said that when the application was submitted, Mr Jennings listed both electrician and mechanic as his main occupation (sic). He also referred to his voluntary work for a Section 19 permit holder but made no reference whatsoever on the application to taxi driving.
Pressed as to why this was, as this was a substantial income source, no cogent explanation other than mistake and naivety could be offered.
The TC was satisfied that not recording taxi driving was a device to exclude other driving carried out, which Mr Jennings believed might affect his application. He concluded that including other occupations on the form was probably calculated to obscure that fact, since his tax return itself referred to the electrician role as being dormant and in fact generating a loss.
The work as a mechanic was declared as accruing only a small profit. The potential profit to be made from taxi driving would provide profit at a closely comparable level to that estimated for the PSV work.
The most recent data suggested that PSV work would exceed that for taxi work. He was not satisfied, even taking into account the uncertainties of how work might flow that the taxi activity would necessarily represent his main occupation.
The margins were so narrow that he could not find the test to be met. That was compounded by Mr Jennings’ lack of candour in his dealings during the initial part of the application process, albeit that when challenged on the matter in the hearing it was to his credit that there was an acceptance of the position. As has been said repeatedly in this jurisdiction, the O-Licensing system was based on trust and confidence.
Regrettably, he found his had been seriously undermined
As far as compliance with the law was concerned, the evidence of a “typical month” of taxi work was provided for June 2018. He noted that that evidenced only three days upon which no such work was undertaken. The TC was not satisfied that if that pattern were to be repeated following the grant of a licence, that Mr Jennings would ordinarily be capable of meeting the daily, weekly or fortnightly rest requirements of a PSV licence holder.