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False statement leads to transport manager disqualification

  • 02 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

North East traffic commissioner Kevin Rooney (pictured) has disqualified a transport manager for five years after he made a false statement about his proposed hours of work.

At a May hearing in Leeds, the TC examined the conduct of Stephen Drever-Marshall, nominated transport manager on two licences – in the North East and the North West of England.

The North East licence holder, Norma Thompson, appeared before Rooney in March 2014, where she had her O-licence revoked.

At Drever-Marshall’s hearing, the TC examined his nomination to the North East licence and duties for the North West operator, Newts Oils.

On the TM1 form completed for the Norma Thompson application, Drever-Marshall indicated he would be working eight hours for each licence.

In November 2013, Drever-Marshall wrote to the central licensing office to say he had stopped working as transport manager for Norma Thompson. He claimed to have sent correspondence about his duties coming to an end in June the same year.

When the matter was raised with the operator, Thompson indicated there had been little contact between her and Drever-Marshall since the application had been submitted.

Drever-Marshall also confirmed he had agreed a fee of £300 for transport manager services for the period of 12 January 2012 to 18 January 2013.

During the inquiry, he told TC Rooney that visits had been made to Thompson’s operating centre every Monday in the first few months, spending four hours on site.

Thompson had indicated the actual arrangement was for one hour per month but Drever-Marshall denied this.

When asked about tachograph records, the transport manager said he had not seen any and admitted he was not aware the operator’s 09-plate vehicle had a digital tachograph.

Turning to his transport manager duties for Newts Oils, TC Rooney found evidence of a relationship between Drever-Marshall and the operator.

However, the transport manager was unaware of an MoT failure on file. He also admitted the company was using an unauthorised operating centre.

TC Rooney highlighted the financial arrangement between Drever-Marshall and  the operator, outlining that his annual fee of £300 equated to 75 pence per hour, excluding travel time and travel costs.

The deliberate false statement about his hours of work, knowingly allowing Newts Oils to run from an unauthorised operating centre, his limited knowledge of drivers’ hours or tachograph rules meant his professional competence had been forfeited.

TC Rooney said: “He acted cynically in making a false statement on his TM1 form and recklessly in failing to bring matters to a head. The failure to regularise the operating centre of Newts Oils having been put on notice of a public inquiry is especially concerning.”


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