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TC disqualifies haulage firm’s boss indefinitely

  • 23 July 2013
  • By Roger Brown

Nick Denton, traffic commissioner (TC) for the South East, has disqualified Philip Kelly, the boss of Kent-based ED Haulage, indefinitely. He described the conduct of his business as one of the worst cases of non-compliance he had seen.

At a public inquiry in Eastbourne in May, the TC revoked the firm’s licence for three vehicles and three trailers. The TC was told that a Vosa inspector attempted to visit the company’s authorised operating base in Rainham, Essex, earlier this year. However, the owner of the site told him that ED Haulage had not used the premises for two years.

Kelly later confirmed to the TC’s office that he had moved his vehicles and trailers to a site in Ryarsh, Kent. At the inquiry, TC Denton examined prohibitions and fixed penalties recorded against the firm’s vehicles and trailers. During a seven-month period, vehicles and trailers operated by the company were issued with 18 prohibition notices. One trailer was issued with a safety critical prohibition, after an examiner found that a cable on the anti-lock braking system had been disconnected.

In the same period, six fixed penalty notices were issued, including one for a vehicle with a defective braking system. Of the prohibitions issued, several identified brake defects, while others reported problems with tyres. One fixed penalty was issued after a driver failed to produce his tachographs and another notice was issued for a vehicle with a load in a dangerous condition.

The TC also took evidence from Noel Campbell, who was nominated as transport manager on the licence. Campbell said he had applied for the role of transport manager and signed an application form to be nominated on the licence in September 2012. However, he did not hear from the company again and was therefore not employed by it. He has since been working as a driver for another haulage firm. Kelly failed to appear at the inquiry. Attempts to contact him on the day went straight to voicemail and no explanation was given for his absence.

The TC said the horrifying prohibition record and mendacious conduct of the operator meant it was extremely unlikely it would be compliant with O-licensing requirements in the future, and there were no positive factors in the case. He added: “This is one of the worst cases of non-compliance I have seen.”


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