The director of a midlands haulage firm and his transport manager have both been disqualified indefinitely after they allowed their international operator licence to be used by another firm.
Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton said it was “beyond my understanding how an operator could behave so dishonestly and so disgracefully” after hearing evidence that Roger Arnold, director at RA International, lent his licence to Ryan Kembery after the latter’s business was forced to surrender its entitlements.
A traffic examiner pulled over a vehicle driven by Kembery and specified on Arnold’s licence and found it was displaying an O-licence in the name of Midland Bulk Services, despite the fact this had been surrendered to the office of the TC by liquidators five months previously.
The examiner concluded that Arnold, whose licence authorised HGVs to operate out of two addresses in Birmingham and Solihull, had been lending his licence to Kembery and he reported the matter to the TC.
Arnold and his transport manager, Richard Arnold, were called to a Birmingham public inquiry but neither of the two men attended.
Nevertheless, TC Denton said he had no hesitation in finding that Arnold had been lending his licence to Kembery.
In his written decision, he said: “Lending an operator licence to someone who does not have one is a very serious issue.
“It is an attempt to circumvent the entire operator licensing system. By his actions Roger Arnold has facilitated the operation of goods vehicles by a person with no right to do so.
“It is beyond my understanding how an operator could behave so dishonestly and so disgracefully.
“This betrayal of the trust placed in him as an operator means that the loss of his good repute is inevitable.”
The TC added: “Transport manager Richard Arnold has either conspired with Roger Arnold in the lending of the licence to Ryan Kembery or has been so remote from the licence that he did not realise it was happening.
“Neither possibility is the conduct of a reputable transport manager. In addition, he has failed to co-operate with the inquiry, attending neither the two arranged interviews with DVSA nor this present public inquiry.”
Denton added that both men could request a hearing to argue for their disqualifications to be time limited, but he said: “I do not envisage that the period of disqualification could be reduced to lower than five years.”