ReturnLoads.net can report a collective group of hauliers who attempted to deceive the authorities by swapping O-licences and vehicles have been prevented from operating by Eastern traffic commissioner (TC) Richard Turfitt
The TC revoked the licences of a web of transport businesses based mainly in Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire - ABM Logistics, Airfield Farm, Finbar Transport, BJ Littlejohns, Milerange and Andrew Riding - and refused an O-licence application from linked firm MR Skips following a conjoined public inquiry in September,
After considering evidence produced by Vosa, TC Turfitt found there had been a series of connections linking the hauliers, and that licences and trucks had been “swapped at the whim” of those in control.
The TC also concluded that:
- the use of rebated diesel had taken place;
- the operators involved had tried to hide behind the names of previous transport managers;
- O-licences had been used by individuals who might not otherwise have been able to obtain one;
- there had been a systemic manipulation of the O-licensing system involving two people at BJ Littlejohns - Michael Wilmott and his assistant Tracey Morton.
Turfitt said: “It only needs one or two operators to adopt this approach to lead to a greater risk that the operator licensing system, which contributes to road safety, will be fatally undermined.”
Turfitt added: “It is important that other operators can look at this decision and have confidence that attempts such as these to circumvent licensing requirements will receive appropriate action to ensure the protection of responsible operations.”
On one occasion, following an advertisement in CM, shares were sold in BJ Littlejohns, but the office of the TC in Leeds was not notified about the change. Turfitt said he wanted to remind hauliers selling their assets or interest in a company that they must.