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O-licence cut for checks and records failures

  • 20 May 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Construction firm H Sivyer (Transport) has had its O-licence curtailed from 103 to 80 vehicles for three months following drivers’ hours offences, but can continue operating at its current authorisation until an appeal hearing takes place.

In a written decision following a public inquiry (PI) in Eastbourne in March, South East traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Denton (pictured) said the London-based firm had been seriously non-compliant when it came to checking whether drivers were running legally and keeping the required records.

During the inquiry he was told that a DVSA traffic examiner could not carry out a satisfactory drivers’ hours investigation because of missing records.

The operator, which is working on the capital’s Crossrail project, provided data for only 50 of the 77 vehicles that had been specified on the licence at the relevant time.

Transport managers at the business did not appear to realise that such a large amount of data was missing – an astonishing failure, according to Denton.

The TC was also told the operator had picked up 16 roadworthiness prohibitions from 42 roadside encounters over the past two years, which he described as a “poor record”.

He found that the company had not had a properly functioning drivers’ hours oversight system in place for a considerable time. Even after it realised this in early 2013, its action to redress the situation had been lamentably slow and was not effective.

Drivers had been driving without inserting their cards into the machine and one was found to be using someone else’s card.

The company was now using the Freight Transport Association to analyse driver data, but reports showed drivers apparently did not drive on many days.

H Sivyer (Transport) said these instances might relate to off-road work drivers had carried out moving materials within the operator’s large base in south-east London.

However, the TC said the long distances driven by vehicles without a driver’s card inserted made that explanation very unlikely.

Director and transport manager Simon Sivyer said he had reviewed drivers’ hours compliance in early 2013 and concluded the company was underperforming.

Another transport manager, Paul Lynch, also accepted that he had taken his eye off the ball when the operator moved premises in 2013.

Lynch had been busy supervising the movement of thousands of tonnes of material across the site and should have pushed for tacho analysis and infringement reports.

The appeal against the O-licence curtailment and three-month transport manager disqualification order handed to Simon Sivyer by the TC will be heard before the upper tribunal.


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