Repute definition is more than your operations, rules Tribunal

In a test case, the Upper Tribunal has ruled that actions outside those directly involved with operations – even if they are not illegal – can affect the ‘repute and fitness’ required to hold an O-Licence.

The decision, published by Judge Levenson, follows an appeal by Catch22 Bus Ltd and its owner Philip Higgs over a decision at a Public Inquiry (PI) in November 2016 to revoke the firm’s O-Licence, and disqualify Mr Higgs for 12 months from holding or obtaining an O-Licence (see Court Report).

The decision follows an appeal by Catch22 Bus Ltd and its owner Philip Higgs

The revocation, due to come into effect on 18 January 2017, was put on hold, pending the appeal against the decision to the Upper Tribunal.

Rejecting the appeal and upholding the Traffic Commissioner’s (TC) decision, the Upper Tribunal has ruled that the revocation will now take effect from 18 February 2018, to “enable appropriate arrangements to be made.”

The Blackpool-based firm, which runs two commercial routes, says that it is to lodge an application to stay the decision to the Court of Appeal.

The hearing focused on Mr Higgs’ conduct; in particular a video he posted on YouTube under a false identity, allegedly showing the then Senior Traffic Commissioner (STC) committing driving offences. The STC was not involved in the November 2016 PI.

The Tribunal concluded that a TC “must have regard to ‘all the relevant evidence’ and that this may include evidence of conduct which is not unlawful.”

Find out more: Tribunal’s decision is here