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Traffic Commissioner’s Public Inquiry – Consequences of Operator/Transport Manager Losing Repute as Transport Manager?

In this case the Operator, represented at Public Inquiry by Harry Bowyer, was a sole trader who was also his own Transport Manager. The DVSA stopped the Operator in one of his own lorries and in the subsequent TEOR numerous regulatory failings were found. The Operator was plainly overwhelmed with the responsibilities of being Operator as well as driver and Transport Manager. He had originally been called into an earlier Public Inquiry on much the same ground and on that occasion had been told to take and pass his Transport Manager’s CPC which he duly did.

After the decisions of the Upper Tribunal in T/2014/25/26/ H Sivyer (Transport) Ltd and Simon Sivyer {2014 UKUT 404 (AAC) (Sivyer) and T/2015/49 Matthew Reynolds [2016] UKUT 0159 (AAC) (Reynolds) it is established law that a Transport Manager had “demonstrated professional competence by passing or holding a relevant and recognised qualification, professional competence could not be lost” per HHJ Beech, (Reynolds, para 2).

The problem that this creates is that a Traffic Commissioner who is faced by a plainly incompetent Transport Manager is left with one option, namely finding that the Transport Manager has lost his Repute. This can happen to a person who “can otherwise be found to be a man of integrity,” Per HHJ Beech (Reynolds, para 27).

If a Traffic Commissioner finds that a Transport Manager has lost their good repute then they are “required to disqualify them in that capacity,” per HHJ Beech, T/2017/55 Alastair Walter (Walter) (No citation as yet)

The question then arises whether an operator who is also a Transport Manager can keep his repute as Operator when he has lost it as Transport Manager and been disqualified in that role (See HHJ Beech (Walter para 24)).

It is probable that if a Traffic Commissioner wishes to leave an Operator with their repute as Operator having lost it and having been disqualified as Transport Manager then the answer might be that it can be done through proportionality and addressing that issue “with reference to Bryan Haulage (No.2) (2002/217 and Priority Freight (2009/225),” per HHJ Beech (Walter, para 24)

In this case the Operator had had enough of the role of Transport Manager and the issue, having been canvassed with the Traffic Commissioner, was allowed to retire with an undertaking not to apply to be Transport Manager on this or any other licence. This meant that there was no finding as to his repute which neatly side stepped the problem.

The licence was allowed to continue with a new Transport Manager subject to undertakings.




Case Details

Case Name: Traffic Commissioner’s Public Inquiry – Consequences of Operator/Transport Manager Losing Repute as Transport Manager?
Case Date: January 2018
Case Type (info):

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