Traffic Commissioner accused of ‘predetermine’ case in PCS hearing
Runcorn based, PCS Chauffeurs has PSV licence revoked and stopped from holding or applying for licence indefinitely.
Reporter for TheChauffeur.com, Chris Hargreaves was in court during a recent public inquiry…
Last month (July 2017), the Traffic Commissioner for the north-west of England, Simon Evans held a public inquiry into the chauffeur company PCS Events Limited.
Following the conviction of John Murphy, Paul Arslanian, Simon Williams, Trevor Jones and Christopher Lunt on charges of conspiracy to defraud in February, PCS was ordered to answer some vital allegations by the Traffic Commissioner.
These included failure to declare convictions of servants or agents and failing to abide by conditions attached to the licence. Further allegations included breach of undertakings to observe the rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs and to keep proper records, that vehicles would be kept fit and serviceable and that the Traffic Commissioner would be immediately notified of material changes and convictions.
Further allegations included breach of conditions attached the licence concerned with the failure to notify the Traffic Commissioner of changes affecting good repute or financial standing, the issue of prohibitions, and material change relevant to the repute of the licence holder.
Such were the concerns raised that attention was also drawn to the allegation that the operator might no longer be of good repute or appropriate financial standing.
The Public Inquiry was held at Golborne on the 18 July 2017 where no representation was made from PCS Events Ltd. However, a representative for the company notified the Traffic Commissioner; “The reason for this absence was because my client takes the view, based on the content of the call-up letter that this matter has already been predetermined by the Traffic Commissioner”.
The notice continued; “Upon receipt of notification of the revocation of my client’s operator’s licence, my client will pursue an appeal to the Upper Tribunal – Administrative Appeals Chamber, where it is sure it will have the fair hearing it is being deprived of before the Traffic Commissioner.”
In Mr Evans written decision, he criticised PCS Chauffeurs director, Mr Slater for choosing not to attend the Public Inquiry which he himself requested take place. “Such inaction seriously undermines the confidence and trust, which must exist between licence holders and their regulator” said Mr Evans.