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O-licence revoked for ‘gross non-compliance’

  • 31 October 2012
  • By Roger Brown

North East Traffic Commissioner (TC), Kevin Rooney has revoked the O-licence of Richard Alan Transport, describing safety and driver standards at the Doncaster operator as “grossly non-compliant”.

In a written decision following a September public inquiry in Leeds, the TC banned sole trader Alan Richard Sables – who specialises in servicing events and festivals – from holding a licence or working as a transport manager for two years.

At the PI, a Vosa vehicle examiner revealed that three trucks run by Sables had received 36 prohibition notices in the last five years, for defects including loose wheel nuts.

The TC recorded that 15 of those notices had been issued since Sables’ last appearance at an inquiry, in November 2010.
He also found occasions where drivers failed to keep a record of their other work, took insufficient daily rest and did not produce records at the roadside.

At two further encounters, vehicles operated by the business were found to have defective tachographs.

The vehicle examiner also told the TC that he had visited Sables in June 2012 but found issues with some of the paperwork relating to routine safety inspections and driver defect reports.

In his own evidence, Sables told the TC he was planning to retire as a result of the recent investigation and his appearance at the inquiry.

Sables accepted the findings of the Vosa examiner that driver checks had been hit and miss, but suggested that the employment of a new transport manager in July this year had led to improvements, including drivers undertaking mandatory training.

He also confirmed that he had thrown some of his records away and had not thought to send them to the vehicle examiner.
The TC also questioned the operator on other incidents reported to his office by Hampshire Police.

An officer from the force stopped one of Sables’ vehicles on the Isle of Wight in August 2011 suspecting that the driver had been working for ten consecutive days, without taking the required rest periods.

On his return to the mainland, the driver was met by another police officer, who investigated the matter further.

The driver was arrested and convicted for obstruction and tachograph offences, leading to a £1,200 fine. However Sables failed to tell the TC about this conviction.

In another incident, the Hampshire force told TC Rooney that two of Sables’ vehicles had been stopped without operator discs.

Sables admitted that he had used both vehicles without authority, although initially gave information to suggest the vehicles were exempt from needing an O-licence on each occasion.


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