Own-account operators should take ownership of compliance and take HGV operating seriously, or they could face consequences to their O-licence, a traffic commissioner (TC) has warned.

Nick Denton, TC for London and the South East, said directors of companies that hold a restricted O-licence must assume their responsibilities under O-licensing law or give way to others who are more capable.

“Somebody in the organisation needs to take ownership of compliance and acquire the necessary knowledge – through formal training – of an operator’s responsibilities and duties,” he cautioned.

Denton’s warning came as he revoked a London supermarket’s O-licence, effective 15 July, after discovering that many of its responsibilities under O-licence law had not been fulfilled.

DVSA evidence presented at a public inquiry this month showed that Tooting, South London-based Rateneed, which trades as Deepak Foods, had committed a significant number of offences.

These included: failing to carry out any downloads from its HGVs since 2014; an 100% annual test failure rate over three years; use of an unauthorised operating centre; overloading and insecure loads; and twice failing to comply with the London Safer Lorry Scheme.

The company had been using a car repairer to carry out maintenance on its HGVs, which had also not received safety inspections on time.

Denton said: “The operator is still using an unauthorised operating centre and doing nothing to ensure observance of the drivers’ hours rules.

“It has shown no appreciation of the need to operate within safety regulations and no urgency to improve or follow the suggestions of the [DVSA] traffic examiner.”

He reminded operators of the responsibilities they agreed to take on when their permission to run HGVs was granted.

These include: keeping vehicles and trailers roadworthy; obeying drivers’ hours rules; keeping maintenance and drivers’ check records for 15 months; keeping vehicles taxed and insured; and ensuring drivers have the correct entitlement to drive HGVs.