Andrew Martin must take a fresh CPC examination before acting as TM again
Though reducing the period of disqualification from holding a PSV O-licence of Andrew Martin from two years to 18 months, the Upper Tribunal has upheld the decision of Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Jones to revoke the licences held by two of his companies and refuse a licence application by a third.
The TC’s decision followed the illegal operation of bus services in North Wales and vehicle maintenance issues. He revoked the 10-vehicle International O-Licence held by Shrewsbury-based The Skiers Lodge, trading as TSL, disqualifying that company indefinitely from holding or obtaining an O-Licence; revoked the 13-vehicle International O-Licence of Shrewsbury-based Express Airport Transfers (Europe), trading as EAT, and refused an application for a new five-vehicle International O-Licence by Rhosymedre-based TSL (Wales). He also disqualified Mr Martin from acting as a Transport Manager until he passed a fresh CPC examination.
The TC was told that that an investigation commenced following the issue of multiple prohibitions within a 16-month period and to confirm that there was an unauthorised operating centre at Rhosymedre. During the course of a check at Wrexham Bus Station three vehicles were seen which were displaying The Skiers Lodge licence discs and TSL (Wales) legal lettering. The drivers confirmed they started and ended their duties at Rhosymedre.
Mr Martin said that there was a contract regarding the hire of vehicles from TSL (Wales) to The Skiers Lodge. That company had temporary access to Rhosymedre. The vehicles would return to Shrewsbury after four weeks as a temporary solution until the Welsh licence was granted.
The TC said that he could not trust Andrew Martin to run a compliant PSV business. His failings were far-reaching. The production of a document which attempted to circumvent the law relating to an operating centre illustrated some of the fundamental problems with Andrew Martin. He had caused considerable reputational damage to the PSV industry. There had been abject failures to comply with minimum standards in relation to road safety and basic legal principles. His unwarranted confrontational demeanour to DVSA examiners was unacceptable (routeone/Court Report 17 October 2018 and 24 April 2019.)
In its decision the Tribunal said that there were significant failures in maintenance, very significant failures in the operation of registered bus services, the unlawful use of an operating centre and as for the disqualification of The Skiers Lodge and Mr Martin, the company had operated in Wales illegally and the registered bus services were neither safe nor compliant.
Mr Martin had demonstrated, by virtue of his stance towards the Vehicle Examiner (VE)’s evidence and his unfounded attack on the VE’s integrity and truthfulness that he was a man who could not be trusted in the future to co-operate with DVSA officers or be compliant within the regulatory regime without considerable reflection and further education. It was inevitable that the licence of The Skiers Lodge would be revoked and the application of TSL Wales would be refused. The vehicle hire agreement illustrated the fundamental problem with Mr Martin.