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Nolan appeal rejected in landmark decision

  • 03 August 2012
  • By Roger Brown

Appeal judges have dismissed an appeal from Irish haulier Nolan Transport for the return of two of its trucks impounded by Vosa, in a landmark decision that lays down how the regulations regarding cabotage and combined transport operations are interpreted in the UK.

In a written decision, Judges Michael Brodrick, Jacqueline Beech and Stuart James, member of the Upper Tribunal, upheld the October 2011 ruling of Welsh traffic commissioner (TC) Nick Jones, that two vehicles from the County Wexford-based haulage firm should be impounded.

On 17 May 2011, Vosa officials detained a Daf tractor unit operated by Nolan on the A477 in Pembrokeshire, coming from Pembroke Dock, saying that it did not have the required British O-licence for the journey.

Nolan Transport argued that an O-licence was not required as the truck was undertaking combined transport – moving goods in one vehicle, using successively two or more modes of transport without handling the goods themselves in changing modes – and was therefore exempt.

TC Jones ruled that as Nolan Transport was operating outside its country of origin (Republic of Ireland) and within the jurisdiction of Great Britain, the driver was required to provided full and correct documentation to show that the journey was within the scope of combined transport.

He added that in this case, the required complete paperwork was not with the driver.

On 20 May 2011, Vosa staff stopped a Mercedes tractor unit operated by Nolan Transport on the A40 coming from Pembroke Dock, on the same basis.

The company said it was exempt from the requirement for an O-licence because the vehicle in question was undertaking a properly constituted cabotage operation.

TC Jones said that in this instance the driver was unable to satisfy the enforcement officer of each element of cabotage by being able to produce the correct paperwork.


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