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Evasive operator loses O-licence

  • 17 October 2012
  • By Roger Brown

Traffic commissioner (TC) for Wales Nick Jones has revoked the O-licence of MLJ Turf and Soil Supplies after the business failed to co-operate with Vosa staff and was found to have an unsatisfactory maintenance record.

Gwilym Owen, Vosa vehicle examiner, told the TC at a September public inquiry held in Wrexham that the boss of the Garndolbenmaen, Gwynedd-based business, sole trader Morris Jones, had been difficult to get hold of and was unresponsive.

Examples included:
• Messages from the vehicle examiner to the operator were rarely answered
• On one occasion Jones said that he was on his way to see his father in hospital so that meeting was postponed
• On another occasion the operator said that he was away on an urgent job and would not be back until later
• Further messages on the operator’s telephone were not answered
• The only meeting with Jones was when the vehicle examiner called in en route to another operator
• Another pre-arranged date resulted in the failure of the operator to attend
The business had been granted a restricted O-licence in 2005 for three vehicles and three trailers.

When a maintenance investigation was eventually carried out it was unsatisfactory in view of:
• A 100% prohibition rate – albeit with relatively few roadside encounters
• An MoT initial failure rate of 85.71%
• No records were seen by the examiner as a result of lack of co-operation from the operator
• The nature of the MoT failures pointed to the possibility that drivers’ walk round checks were not being carried out properly.

TC Jones concluded: “What little information has been gleaned reveals a wholly unsatisfactory operation with insufficient regard to road safety.

“I make a finding that this operator has obfuscated with both myself and Vosa.”


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