The owner of a party limousine hire business stripped of her licence after being caught trading illegally has lost an appeal to overturn the decision.
An independent transport tribunal upheld a decision by Joan Aitken, Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, to refuse Lanarkshire-based 1st Class Limos a licence.
Traffic watchdogs discovered owner Lisa Rafferty, of Shotts, had been running the company without a licence for years and had also been supplying alcohol as part of the limousine hire package without holding a liquor licence. It also emerged she had claimed that a certificate from Motherwell College was a liquor licence.
However Ms Rafferty, 28, claimed she had been made the “scapegoat” for new regulations designed to crack down on rogue limo hire companies.
She said limousine hire owners across the UK had been forced to work without the appropriate operators licence because they were unable to meet standard vehicle requirements until recently.
However, at a hearing of the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeals Chamber, the traffic commissioner’s reasons for removing the licence were judged “clear and unambiguous”. The decision states: “The Traffic Commissioner’s reasoning cannot be faulted.
“She made a clear finding that the appellant knowingly operated limousines when it was unlawful to do so. That conclusion is clearly correct.”
Ms Rafferty said: “I wasn’t doing anything different to other limo owners across the UK.
“Until very recently it was impossible to meet the requirements of the licence because the necessary adjustments could not be made to the vehicles.
“This has now changed and other companies are now closing their businesses and starting up under a new name so that they can’t be judged on their trading history.
“I feel as if I’ve been made the scapegoat. I’ve had to sell most of my vehicles.”
Courtesy of www.eveningtimes.co.uk