May 24 2013 Latest news:
by Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Friday, February 8, 2013
»A haulage firm has had its licence cut by the traffic regulator after concerns over unsatisfactory records and a lack of safety inspections.
Traffic Commissioner Richard Turfitt gave a severe warning to the director and transport manager of Brentwood firm F J Everett Transport Ltd.
The contractor also had its licence reduced following reports that maintenance standards and driver records were not satisfactory.
Director Michael Everett and transport manager Francis Everett made their second appearance before Mr Turfitt on January 24 after an earlier public inquiry was adjourned for further evidence to be considered.
Mr Turfitt’s decision came after officers from the government’s enforcement agency carried out a compliance probe.
At the first hearing on August 15, Mr Turfitt examined the report of a vehicle examiner from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).
It showed historic concerns over the roadworthiness of vehicles due to prohibitions issued for defects.
The examiner also noted that some of the vehicles had not been given routine safety inspections on time.
Mr Turfitt said in August there were discrepancies in the inspection paperwork and adjourned to allow the business to investigate the issues.
He also asked VOSA to inspect the firm’s tachograph records, which record the duties carried out by drivers.
The VOSA officer found that some drivers had committed offences, such as not taking legal minimum breaks.
The Traffic Commissioner examined the company’s explanation for discrepancies in its inspection records, which came from a third party contractor carrying out safety checks on vehicles.
Mr Turfitt concluded that the firm’s good reputation had been “severely tarnished” after it failed to comply with an order given in August to provide financial evidence (including annual accounts and bank statements) – a requirement for all licence holders.
Mr Turfitt told Francis Everett his own repute had also been affected by the proceedings and VOSA investigations, ruling they had also been “severely tarnished”. He said: “He failed to exercise continuous and effective management, as indicated by the findings and by reference to his management of the preventative maintenance inspection records.”
The order curtails the company’s licence by cutting the authorised fleet from 19 vehicles and 25 trailers to 13 vehicles and 13 trailers. The firm also made four commitments to Mr Turfitt including that it would have driver records independently checked and arrange for a trade body to audit its maintenance systems within six months.