The operator was called before the DTC after concerns over drivers’ hours, tachograph offences and vehicle maintenance
Drivers’ hours, tachograph offences and vehicle maintenance problems have resulted in the revocation of the four-vehicle O-Licence held by Porth–based Ronald and Michael Mainwaring, trading as Mainwaring Buses, by Deputy Traffic Commissioner (DTC) Nick Jones.
In addition, the DTC has disqualified Michael Mainwaring from holding or obtaining a PSV O-Licence for 12 months, from acting as a Transport Manager (TM) for two years and has suspended his PSV driving licence for four months.
In December, Michael Mainwaring pleaded guilty to 32 offences of making false tachograph records, of failing to make a record, failing to use a driver card, failing to have daily rest periods, failing to take breaks after 4.5 hours’ driving, and exceeding 10 hours’ driving.
He was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £3,780.
Traffic Examiner Alex Bell told the DTC that he felt that Michael Mainwaring had been uncooperative and was deliberately difficult.
Factual issues were not in dispute and there was an acknowledgement from Mr Mainwaring that “he had lost it”.
One driver had committed offences as a result of the lack of control by Mr Mainwaring. That driver was convicted of 11 separate offences on 27 November 2019.
Driver Marc Walker had described himself as Operations Manager. It was clear that he was in control of the forward planning systems.
Mr Mainwaring was not performing the role as TM; instead Mr Walker completed the TM tasks. Mr Mainwaring showed no aptitude or ability in the role of TM.
Mr Walker was very helpful throughout the investigation and was genuinely fearful that by telling the truth he would lose his employment.
Mr Walker had admitted intentionally doctoring timesheets covering the period 6–11 April 2019 to give the impression that he had attended a trip to Amsterdam.
He claimed that he was coerced into doing so by Michael Mainwaring. An ANPR camera clearly showed Michael Mainwaring driving on the Amsterdam trip.
Vehicle Examiner, Stephen Cooke, said that the firm had a 75% prohibition rate. Two vehicles in use were inspected at different school checks on the same day without notice, both receiving immediate prohibitions.
A consultant employed by the firm had conducted audits on maintenance procedures every two months.
The audit report listed items requiring immediate attention including intervals between inspections being too large. Additionally, no brake tests were recorded, and declarations were not signed.
The consultant was concerned that the same deficiencies were evident in his latest maintenance investigation. A number of errors were noted on the firm’s wall planner.
Failings identified at a previous Public Inquiry (PI) in September 2017 were still evident. An undertaking that PMIs would be no longer than four–weekly was not being adhered to.
In his decision the DTC said that he took account of the fact that there was some improvement in vehicle safety and there were no ongoing concerns over tachograph falsifications.
The use of the words “he just lost it” by Michael Mainwaring and his solicitor was a manifestation of an individual who made very bad errors of judgement.
Mr Mainwaring had the technical TM qualifications, but he did not have the management skills. The single most serious and significant feature was that an individual who was a partner, TM and driver actively encouraged and coerced falsifications, in addition to falsifying records himself.
In limiting Michael Mainwaring’s disqualification to 12 months the DTC took account of his mental state.
It was clear that Ronald Mainwaring had a passive role in the management of the business, not having managed the business for a few years. The DTC had not disqualified him as there was no evidence that he either knew of or assisted in any falsifications.