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Haulage partners with "cavalier attitude" disqualified by TC Jones

  • 22 July 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Traffic Commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones (pictured) has revoked the O-licence of Pengam-based ADS Express Freight after an investigation discovered maintenance failings at the business.

In a written decision issued after a public inquiry in Cardiff, the TC also disqualified the partners at the operator – Richard Sims and Andrew Dyke – from further vehicle operations.

A defective vehicle led to a DVSA investigation, the inquiry heard, which showed a significant failure in the partnership’s maintenance systems. The defect was picked up by a driver and reported, but had not been repaired by the operator.

The DVSA officer also reported issues with maintenance paperwork and driver defect reporting. A number of other prohibitions had been issued to the vehicles, one of which was for a long-standing defect. Again, records showed that it had been reported on several occasions but not repaired.

Concerns were also raised about the partnership using more vehicles than it was allowed to run – it only had permission to run one vehicle. In evidence, Sims claimed that the business never ran more than one vehicle.

However, DVSA officers observed two vehicles displaying valid O-licence discs during a visit to the operator’s base at St David’s Industrial Estate, Pengam.

Jones reviewed the history of Sims as an operator, noting that a licence in his name had been revoked in 2011. On that occasion, Sims was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence and from being a transport manager for two years.
Sims claimed he did not know about these orders, but the TC rejected this evidence.

“I do not accept that Richard Sims did not know about the disqualification,” he added. “Instead, I find that he
has continued to evade and prevaricate to sustain his business for as long as is possible.”

In addition, Jones disqualified Sims, who was also the firm’s transport manager, from working in that role indefinitely – and can not be involved in operating vehicles for five years. The TC added: “He has not merely been incompetent, he is manifestly dishonest and there is cogent evidence that he has been manipulating the operator licensing system for a number
of years.”

Dyke was disqualified from O-licensing for six months. “The use of more vehicles than authorised, which, on the balance of probabilities I find has taken place, illustrates the cavalier attitude to operator licensing by the partnership operator and transport manager Richard Sims,” the TC added.


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