The legal position
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• Transport lawyer James Backhouse of Backhouse Jones warns that the biggest single danger about the TAN/VI merger is that it could lead hauliers to sense a lessening of the Traffic Commissioners impartiality.
He adds that the role of the Transport Tribunal will become more critical as it will be the first opportunity an operator has to come before an impartial tribunal. "If that is the case, the appeal procedure might need to change from a documentary basis to an evidential one and the Tribunal become more flexible over the admission of fresh evidence," he says.