A Scottish transport firm has condemned as “inexcusable” delays by the traffic commissioner’s office in processing O-licence applications after it was left waiting since May to run HGVs.

Eion Robertson said he had £50,000 sitting in his bank as evidence of financial standing and yet “nothing in my fridge” after he was left waiting on a decision by the TC to grant a licence.

Sole trader Robertson, who wants to operate 10 HGVs and 10 trailers out of a base in Armadale, West Lothian, said that when he applied for the standard international licence in May he expected there to be a delay due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, he said he didn’t know if he’d have any customers left after waiting for more than five months for the green light.

Robertson said: “They are incompetent, they don’t know the rules.

“For my application I have £90,000 funding through invoice factors, which is an acceptable method.

“But they were arguing I needed £48,000 in the bank as well. So now I’ve got that.

“I have customers waiting, but I don’t know if they will still be waiting on me once this is finished.

“I have £50,000 sat in the bank I can’t use and nothing in my fridge!”

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Motortransport.co.uk has previously reported about how the time taken for the TCs to process goods vehicle licence applications has risen as they struggled with the impact of the coronavirus.

A spokesman for the TCs said it was unable to comment on individual cases, but that they had been working hard to maintain an uninterrupted service for operators and applicants throughout the pandemic.

The spokesman said: “However, like most businesses, this has involved staff having to quickly adapt to a new working environment.

“The office has also seen an increase in applications in recent months.

“As a result of these challenges, we are aware that some operators and applicants are experiencing a delay in the processing of their applications.

“The traffic commissioners will continue to alert the DVSA to the pressures on resource and staff will endeavour to reduce the overall application processing time, whilst maintaining the requisite level of scrutiny.

“Commissioners remain committed to ensuring that all applications are dealt with as quickly as possible.”