What disciplinary action can the Traffic Commissioners take at public inquiries?
Traffic Commissioners must revoke a standard national or international licence if the holder no longer fulfils the requirements of good repute, financial standing or professional competence. They are also obliged to revoke a restricted licence if the holder has two convictions within five years for using a goods vehicle for carrying goods for hire or reward.
They are obliged to find that the holder of any licence no longer has good repute/fitness if they have sustained more than one conviction of a serious nature within the meaning of Schedule 3 of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 within five years.
As well as the cases where the Traffic Commissioners must revoke a licence, there are many more circumstances where they may do so if they see fit. These include:
• the breaking of conditions attached to the licence
• vehicles being prohibited because they are overloaded or otherwise unroadworthy
• any statements in the licence application which are untrue
• the licence-holder having been made bankrupt or gone into liquidation
• the licence-holder having used an unauthorised operating centre
Are there any regular checks on my operating centre?
Yes, Traffic Commissioners have the power to conduct a review of the suitability of your operating centre/s every five years. It is entirely up to the TCs whether or not they carry out such a review in each case, although it is reasonable to assume that they will be guided by any evidence of complaints against the centre in the previous five years.
If the TC chooses not to carry out a review then your operating centre is secure for another five years, unless you do not pay the fees, apply for a major variation or operate outside the terms of your licence.
What does the TC do if he reviews my operating centre?
If the Traffic Commissioners does decide a review is necessary, then there is a possibility that they will decide to remove an operating centre. However they may decide that a public inquiry is necessary to allow complainants and the licence-holder the chance to give their views. Alternatively, the TC may decide to take no action.
An inquiry does not necessarily mean there will be alterations to the O-licence, but the TC could set new conditions, on environmental or road safety grounds for example. You will be given the opportunity to make representations to the TC if any of the proposed conditions would have an adverse affect on your business. In some cases the TC might decide to remove an operating centre from the licence altogether.
If you require further information on traffic commissioners, or representation from a road transport law solicitor please call now on 0800 046 3066