Twelve former drivers at North Cumbria haulage firm Ross International have had their HGV licences revoked after they used various devices to falsify their driving records.

After driver conduct hearings in Carlisle, Glasgow and Warrington, traffic commissioner for Scotland Joan Aitken and deputy TCs for the North West of England, Patrick Mulvenna and Simon Evans, disqualified the drivers – all from the north of England and Scotland – for between nine and 18 months

A joint investigation by DVSA and Cumbria Police identified 182 false records against 17 drivers working for William Ross and his firm, Ross International, transporting fish from Scotland to France and Spain.

DVSA examiners revealed drivers had been using various devices to interrupt the recording equipment in their vehicles. The drivers were charged with conspiracy to make a false instrument with intent that it be accepted as genuine.

In December 2013, five drivers were sent to prison – two for eight months and three for six months.

The others received suspended prison sentences, suspended for up to two years. All were disqualified from driving by the courts.

Operator William Ross was also sentenced to two years in prison, 18 months’ disqualification from driving and five years’ disqualification as a director.

Aitken was told the drivers based in Scotland had used a variety of devices to make false records, with some indicating that they had been pressured by Ross to work in this way.

Mulvenna concluded that the drivers before him had committed the false records willingly.