Statements not fulfilled six penalized
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• At a public inquiry under Section 69 of the Transport Act 1968 in Birmingham on Tuesday, Mr John Else, the West Midland LA, revoked an owner-operator's 0 licence and curtailed or suspended the licences held by five companies following reports by vehicle examiners that in each case statements of intent regarding maintenance arrangements and the keeping of records had not been fulfilled.
The first case to be heard involved three associated companies, Ray Transport Ltd, Hadcroft Transport Co Ltd and E. and J. Davies (Transport) Ltd, which share premises in Stockwell Road, Birmingham.
Mr L. Nicholls, a DoE vehicle examiner, told the LA that he had inspected the companies' base and maintenance facilities between September 9 last year and January 1.
Although these facilities were adequate in themselves he had still found it necessary to issue two immediate and two delayed GV9s. Three skilled mechanics were employed on maintenance work, but it was the opinion of Mr Nicholls that extra staff were required to maintain the fleet of 24 vehicles and 19 trailers.
Mr N. Carless, for the three companies, said in addition to the three mechanics, two unskilled men were employed on maintenance work. Although the firms had advertised, it had been impossible to attract new maintenance staff. Mr Else decided to curtail the licence by removing the margin of 10 vehicles and one trailer which had not been taken up, and also to impose a suspension by removing four vehicles and three trailers during April, May and June of this year.
Another company which had its licence suspended was Streetly Gardens (Turf) Ltd, of Birmingham, which holds a licence for three vehicles.
The LA suspended the licence by deleting one vehicle over a three-month period after he had been told that serious defects had been discovered and an immediate prohibition issued after a vehicle examiner's inspection visit. The company had been unable to produce records of maintenance work, and in the examiner's words the vehicles "were in a bad condition".
Broseley Engineering Co Ltd (Broseley), Salop, had its 0 licence authorizing four vehicles and four trailers curtailed when Mr Else removed the one vehicle and two trailers which the company had not acquired.
Giving evidence, Mr D. Prior, a vehicle examiner, said that he visited the firm's base on December 17 and January 18 and inspected two vehicles and one trailer. These he found to be in a satisfactory condition but the maintenance facilities were inadequate and no records were kept.
Mr William Southern, company director, said that negotiations were taking place between his firm and a well-known London company about the possibility of a merger. If this took place there was some doubt as to whether the fleet would be kept on or scrapped. However, if the merger did not take place maintenance facilities would be improved and a new system of recording maintenance work introduced.
Mr C. T. Reay, of Colwich, had his licence revoked by the LA when he failed to attend the inquiry. The court heard that numerous attempts had been made by a vehicle examiner to inspect Mr Reay's vehicle, but each time the appointment was made Mr Reay failed to turn up.