If you hold either a Goods or Public Service Vehicle Operator’s Licence, it is likely to be a significant asset without which your business would fail.
At Public Inquiry (PI), the Traffic Commissioners have the power to revoke, curtail or suspend an operator’s licence. They can find that “good repute” has been lost and in the worst cases can disqualify licence holders and Transport Managers from being involved in the operation of commercial vehicles.
Targeted enforcement broadly means that the majority of licence holders that are called to Public Inquiry (PI) are those with a poor compliance history, but it is relatively easy for matters to quickly escalate to a PI when things do go wrong. If a vehicle is issued with an “S” marked prohibition (which indicates a failure in the maintenance system) there will be a VOSA fleet inspection, often unannounced, and if further failings , however slight, come to light such that the report is categorised as “Unsatisfactory”, the vehicle operator and the Transport manager will get called to PI.
If this happens, all the Traffic Commissioners will want to know what steps have been taken to remedy things and will expect such steps to have been taken as soon as there is an issue for concern, not just when the letter calling the parties to PI arrives.
Not only is it critically important to put your case properly at PI as no new evidence can be introduced at a subsequent appeal, but at the earliest opportunity licence holders should review their compliance systems to be able to reassure the Traffic Commissioner that there is unlikely to be any repeated breaches.
We have the necessary experience to be able to advise on these system reviews and provide expert representation at PI. Once we have identified the issues, which will always include establishing financial standing, we will be able to advise on how these can best be addressed in a cost efficient way. We will then prepare detailed submissions to guide you through the PI process and represent you on the day of the hearing.