Traffic commissioner (TC) Beverley Bell stepped down because she felt the TCs did not receive sufficient support from the government.

The senior TC and TC for the North West sent her letter of resignation to transport secretary Chris Grayling last year. In it she said it was vital the DfT “gives its full support to the traffic commissioners” and to fail to do so would “irreparably undermine the jurisdiction which has survived and thrived for 85 years”.

“Over the years,” she added, “we have not always had that support and I regret to inform you this has been a key factor in my decision to step down before I reach retirement age”.

Bell said she hoped the DfT would continue to work collaboratively with the TCs and “[support] them so that they can truly carry out that work without fear or favour, affection or ill will”.

The letter, which has been released following a Freedom of Information request, echoed comments made in her annual report for 2015/16, which called for more funding to tackle the most non-compliant operators.

She reiterated her call for the legislation that underpins the O-licensing regime to be reviewed, suggesting the TCs “struggle to keep up” with new technology and the demands placed on operators.

“Traffic commissioners increasingly find themselves under attack from operators who have no intention of running in a compliant manner and who will resort to any lengths to bring about the downfall of public regulators carrying out a difficult job in extremely difficult circumstances,” the letter added.

In response to Bell’s letter, senior TC Richard Turfitt, who replaced Bell in June, said receiving support from the DfT was “vital to providing an effective, modern operator licensing service to the industry”.

Turfitt said: “There is always work to do in building and maintaining relationships.

“The department is facing an increasing workload but knows that without its support, TCs cannot make the required progress to reduce burdens on compliant operators and to take action against unsafe operations.”