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Disqualification after misleading TC Aitken

  • 22 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Traffic commissioner (TC) for Scotland Joan Aitken has disqualified Randolph Transport after it failed to notify her of the appointment of a disqualified person, William Tottenham, as director.

In a written decision following a February public inquiry in Edinburgh, the TC ordered that the Kirkcaldy-based firm have its O-licence revoked on 31 August.

Tottenham had previously been involved with Bellshill Fish Distribution, but the company’s licence had been revoked in 2000 because of drivers’ hours offences.

He had been disqualified indefinitely from being involved in O-licensing, an order made with the revocation of the Bellshill licence, which was reported by CM at the time.

Tottenham told the TC he had become a director of Randolph Transport solely for tax reasons. He said he recalled being disqualified, but thought the length of the disqualification was five to 10 years. Tottenham had since resigned and said he had no intention of becoming a director again.

In her written decision, TC Aitken concluded that “for all practical purposes, this is Mr Tottenham’s business” .

She added: “A TC’s order of disqualification is one of the most serious orders a TC can ever make. I am incredulous that a man can think that he can fix his own period of disqualification. I simply do not believe Mr Tottenham. He was being utterly self-serving in saying that it should be some period of five to 10 years. He provided nothing to support his view that the length of indefinite disqualification would be five to 10 years.”

TC Aitken added that the relationship between a TC and an operator should be one based on trust.

“It is a relationship of working together, not keeping things hidden and it is a relationship which requires honesty and not circumvention,” she said.

TC Aitken also found that the licence was without a nominated transport manager between 2007 to spring 2013, which the TC said was a deliberate disregard for the regulations.

The company had failed to respond to a request for information about its nominated transport manager. Catherine Tottenham, a director and qualified transport manager, told TC Aitken that she had not been aware of the need to disclose these changes and had not attempted to mislead anyone.

The TC ordered that:
. the O-licence held by Randolph Transport will be revoked from 31 August;
. Randolph Transport will be disqualified indefinitely with effect from 31 August;
. William Tottenham remains disqualified by virtue of the order in 2000;
. Catherine Tottenham is disqualified from the industry for two years with effect from 31 August;
. and she has lost her repute as a transport manager. She will be disqualified from acting in this role for two years from 31 August.

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Article source: http://www.commercialmotor.com:80/latest-news/disqualification-after-misleading-tc-aitken