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Transport manager broke most basic rule

  • 06 August 2014
  • By Roger Brown

South East traffic commissioner, Nick Denton (pictured), has indefinitely disqualified a transport manager after he ran a vehicle not specified on the O-licence.

In a written decision following a July public inquiry in Eastbourne, the TC said Shane Hyland – a former transport manager for operators John Gray and Elizabeth Gray – had broken the “basic rule of operator licensing.”

Hyland, who failed to attend the PI, came to the attention of DVSA officers after he was stopped in the Wembley area in February 2014 driving an S-registration Leyland Daf 14-tonner. 

Although the West London-based partnership operation was authorised to run five vehicles, none were specified on the licence.

Hyland told a traffic examiner he was sub-contracting for John and Elizabeth Gray and confirmed that he did not hold a valid licence as a sole trader.

In a subsequent interview, John Gray claimed that he had hired the vehicle from Hyland on two occasions and said the business had not subcontracted work to him.

The licence had a 100% prohibition rate and licence discs were not returned to the licensing office after vehicles had been removed.

Defects included inoperative indicators, a seriously underinflated tyre and a loose  wheel nut. 

Additionally, the operator picked up notices for a defective tachograph and a tachograph that had not been sealed. A driver was also issued with a fixed penalty for failing to produce tacho records.

Both partners failed to attend the inquiry and tried to surrender the licence a few days before.

TC Denton said the attempted surrender of the licence was designed to avoid facing his enquiries.

He added: “I find that their attempt to surrender the licence at the last minute and their failure to attend the inquiry was a deliberate attempt to evade discussion of the way in which they had run the licence and to avoid the possible negative consequences of that.

“There was negligence in the way in which this licence was managed and grounds to suspect the Grays may have been complicit in Mr Hyland’s illegal use of their disc.”

TC Denton revoked the licence held by John Gray and Elizabeth Gray with immediate effect. He disqualified the partners for an indefinite period of time until they appear before him at a PI.


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