During a press release targeting all haulage operators in the UK, the Traffic Commissioners have given a solid warning to firms undertaking haulage operations which have been authorised periods of grace allowing for time to correct any abnormalities could lead to their licence forfeit. Any that do not match the needed criteria and requirements are given a period of grace to rectify the information. This is in cases such as the death of a transport manager whose information will need to be changed or updating any financial information when company data requires editing. The Traffic Commissioners have pointed out that failure to correct or update any matters within the specified period of time can result in revocation of the licence.
If any requirements following the law’s regulations are not met the commissioners must revoke any operator’s authority unless they are within their period of grace and have applied for updated information, which the commission are more forgiving towards. With graces granted, everything must be completed before the grant expires or the licence will be revoked. Grace periods can only be granted for maximum of half a year. However, in the death of a transport manager, the grace period extends to 9 months due to understandable circumstances.
Authorities distributed the reminder following the withdrawal of an appeal by a firm, who were reported to be carrying out operations from Sudbury, Suffolk, Colchester and Chelmsford, they were against the order of having their licence revoked after failing to comply to the four month period grace which would show whether the firm had the financial standing and professional competence required by the Traffic Commissioner for East England.
The inquiry took place on May 6th 2016, after an investigation by the DSVA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) which looked into maintenance shortcomings. The firm’s transport manager had the authority to resign while the hearing took place. Meaning the licence holder no longer matched the required professional competence. At the hearing financial evidence was bought forward, showing the firm had failed to match the minimum level required for the type of licence the company had access to.
The firm were given a four month period of grace, which the Traffic Commissioner considered more than enough time for the company to produce satisfactory financial evidence and name a new transport manager. They issued a warning that if the firm failed to comply before the end of the period of grace, their licence would be revoked. The company managed to nominate a replacement CPC holder, but not until after the 4 month period of grace had expired. While the Traffic Commissioner expected the professional competence requirements would be met by the firm.
Without further financial evidence and considering the maximum period of grace time had passed, the company’s licence had to be revoked. Giving advice for any licence holders who are on periods of grace or might need to apply for one in the near future, the traffic commissioner spokesperson told reports:
“This case shows there are serious consequences where operators fail to rectify the issues before any period of grace ends. Operators who are given extra time need to be proactive as soon as the period of grace is granted. Traffic commissioners will not approve periods of grace simply to put off revocation for a few more months. The extra time is granted so that operators can actively secure the future of their licence and demonstrate continuing commitment to compliance with the licensing regime.
“Traffic commissioners are not obliged to allow a period of grace but will always carefully consider any application. They have to strike a balance between allowing operators a period of time to rectify the situation and ensuring there is a level playing field for operators who continue to meet the mandatory criteria.”
With seven traffic commissioners overall, with each having their own deputies who cover the whole of the UK, HGV operators need to ensure they have all the required documents up to date regarding their company. HGV operators and all forms of public service vehicles must be licensed. The traffic commissioner’s role in the procedure is vital to ensuring safer roads and fair haulage trade for the British public.
Senior Traffic Commissioner’s statutory documents on Finance and Transport Managers can give guidance on applying for any required period of grace.