Unsafe vehicles bring licence revocation and three-month disqualification

The licence of Wembley-based Clive Smart has been revoked, after falling ‘far short’ of the standards expected of a TM at a PI

Wembley school bus operator Clive Smart was disqualified for three months from holding or obtaining a PSV O-Licence after his licence was revoked by Traffic Commissioner (TC) Nick Denton for operating unsafe vehicles.

Mr Smart, trading as CJS (Trading), of Carlton Avenue West, Wembley, with a two-vehicle national licence, had been called before the TC at an Eastbourne Public Inquiry (PI).

The TC was told that on 22 February, a DVSA Traffic Examiner (TE) encountered one of Mr Smart’s vehicles at the Tiffin Girls’ School in Kingston-upon-Thames. Checks showed that the driver of the vehicle, Roland Andrews, did not hold a Driver CPC qualification. 

Mr Andrews had said he was working on behalf of Mr Smart and had travelled from Twickenham to drop pupils off, before returning to pick them up later. Mr Smart stated that Mr Andrews was self employed but carrying out the journey under his O-Licence.

The TC said that he had no confidence in the likelihood of Mr Smart complying in the future because he had shown that, even when faced with a PI, he was prepared to continue to operate beyond authority

On 21 March, the TE was monitoring vehicles being used to transport pupils to the Henrietta Barnet School, in the Hampstead Garden suburb. He encountered three vehicles being operated by Clive Smart, despite his licence only allowing the use of two vehicles.

Mr Smart, who was driving one of the vehicles, admitted he was running all three vehicles. He was also unable to produce his Driver CPC card and was given a £50 fixed penalty notice. Pupils had also been transported on a vehicle which didn’t have the right MoT.

A DVSA Vehicle Examiner had reported that the vehicles not given regular safety checks with six months between checks on occasions.

Making the revocation and disqualification orders, the TC said that he had no confidence in the likelihood of Mr Smart complying in the future because he had shown that, even when faced with a PI, he was prepared to continue to operate beyond authority. 

An operator who put children in a vehicle which had the wrong and insufficient class of MoT and lacked the required children’s signs, or in vehicles which had not been given thorough safety inspections, and who lent out his licence to enable school runs to be operated by a driver who had not passed his CPC deserved to go out of business.

Disqualifying Mr Smart from acting as a Transport Manager (TM) until he past a further examination, the TC said that he had fallen far short of the standards he would expect of a reputable TM and had been far too slow to take any meaningful action to remedy that.

He added that if Mr Smart were ever to apply for a licence again, he would need to undergo a complete change of culture.