Revocation after financial period of grace expired upheld

The revocation of the international licence held by Harris Travel by TC Gerallt Evans has been upheld by the Upper Tribunal

The revocation of the international O-Licence held by Blackburn-based Harris Travel by TC for the North West of England Gerallt Evans – after the operator failed to submit the required financial evidence before the expiry of a period of grace – has been upheld by the Upper Tribunal.

The company had been called before Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Miles Dorrington because of concerns over finance, operating for a period without a Transport Manager, failing to co-operate with the OTC, and failings in respect to the driver defect reporting requirements.

The DTC cut the number of vehicles authorised on the licence from 15 to 11, and gave the company a period of grace to satisfy the financial requirements.

A letter subsequently revoking the licence said that the TC had noted that the evidence submitted by the company did not show financial standing from the documents sent in, and that it had been left in no doubt by the DTC of the expectation and the clear deadline. Consequently, it had failed to show financial standing by the expiry of the period of grace. The TC did not consider that any further extension of time was appropriate as the company had been given sufficient opportunity and direction so far and he was not convinced any further time would realistically improve the position.

Sole Director Asif Din sent some further material to the OTC, but only after the decision to revoke the licence had been made which the OTC made clear had been submitted too late.

Dismissing the appeal, the Upper Tribunal said that it was not permitted to take into consideration any circumstances which did not exist at the time of the determination, which was the subject of the appeal. Put another way, in order to succeed, an appellant must show that the process of reasoning and the application of the law at the time the decision was made required the Upper Tribunal to take a different view.

Here, there had been a previous determination by a DTC following a PI, at which matters had been carefully examined, to the effect that the company did not meet the financial standing requirements. That decision was not the subject of challenge. It had not been asserted that that decision was in any sense wrongly made. Revocation would otherwise have followed at that stage, but a period of grace was given. However, that decision made it very clear what was required in terms of financial evidence. Bank statements were required covering the complete months of June, July and August 2021, and the financial material which was to be submitted was required to comply with the requirements set out in the Senior TC’s statutory guidance.

The company had failed to show that the financial standing requirement was met. That was so not only on the basis of the material before the TC, but also on the basis of the retrospectively produced documentation.