Limo firm loses operating licence

A LIMOUSINE firm has had its operator’s licence revoked following a significant failure of maintenance and an inability to demonstrate sufficient financial standing.

The Traffic Commissioner for the South Eastern and Metropolitan Traffic Area, Philip Brown, found that the operator had lost its good repute following a Public Inquiry on 8th December 2010. Mr Marshall was called to the Inquiry in relation to his Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence which authorises him to use eight vehicles.

Mr Marshall’s licence for his company ‘A Touch of Class Limousines Limited’ was investigated by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) after a vehicle was presented for its annual test twice before it obtained a pass certificate.

The VOSA investigation also found there were 16 prohibitions issued against the operator’s vehicles, 11 of which were issued in 2010. Other aspects of the investigation showed the vehicles were missing maintenance inspection records, and the company had failed to record the repairs on the inspection sheets. Also, the company had not signed off inspection sheets after work had concluded.

During the Inquiry in December 2010, the Traffic Commissioner was supplied with written documents which stated that Mr Marshall had not been able to exercise the necessary control and supervision required on the operator licensing side after his transport manager resigned during 2009. He also failed to inform the Office of the Traffic Commissioner of this resignation, but produced evidence to show he had notified the Central Licensing Office in Leeds.

At the Public Inquiry accompanying transport consultant, Malcolm Haddow, said that Mr Marshall accepted full responsibility for the non-compliance issues of the operator’s licence and had operated without a transport manager since 2009. Mr Marshall apologised to the Traffic Commissioner for these various issues.

In making his decision Traffic Commissioner, Philip Brown, said it was clear that any action taken to remedy the non-compliance issues had only been taken recently, and Mr Marshall had a long way to go in order to establish a safe and roadworthy fleet of vehicles. Many failures during the annual certificate tests were critical of matters relating to road safety, including tyres, brakes and exhausts. Any required action to make vehicles roadworthy is mandatory and not an optional extra.

The revocation takes effect from the 30 April 2011. As the operator has attempted to comply fully with the PSV operator licensing scheme, he is open to apply for a new operator’s licence after 30 April 2011 provided he can re-establish his good repute.