Licence granted after appeal abandoned
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• An applicant who had been refused a licence for five vehicles last year was partially successful when a licence for two vehicles was granted after a new application to the Western LA had been submitted in Bristol this week.
Mr T. D. Corpe, representing Mr T. C. Watts, of Bath Road, Wells, explained that an application in July 1970 had been refused because of the LA's •dissatisfaction with the maintenance facilities provided for the five vehicles involved. Mr Watts lodged an appeal to the Transport Tribunal against the decision of the LA but this was abandoned in November and it was decided instead to make a new application. Mr Corpe suggested that the maintenance had been "just about as bad as it could be" in the past but Mr Watts had now been without a licence for the past three months which might be considered a severe enough penalty in itself.
An agreement had now been made with a local garage for all maintenance and the principal customer, Foster Yeoman, had been asked to make available weighing facilities to avoid overloading infringements. Three drivers had been kept employed with vehicles not used on the road during the past three months on off-road work on a motorway site and it was in this way that the finances of the firm were still sound.
It was pointed out by the LA. Mr J. R. C. Samuel-Gibbon, that some conviction dating back to 1966 had not been declared in the application. The offences. which were also unknown to Mr Watts' representative, were mainly concerned with defective parts. Mr Samuel-Gibbon said that the convictions need not be considered relevant to the application unless they showed doubt on the reliability of the evidence of Mr Watts.
In December last year a vehicle examination was carried out, since the maintenance agreement had been made, and the vehicles were found to be in good general condition.
Mr Watts said that the contract on the motorway site was due to finish at the end of March and if he was to remain in business a licence would be required by then. Mr Corpe urged the LA to grant a provisional licence and said that the application should be viewed as new with the past derelictions "wiped out".
In announcing his decision the LA said he was doubtful whether he should grant a licence at all in view of the fact that statements relating to previous convictions had not been as accurate as they might have been. An unusual feature of the case was that the RHA had written on Mr Watts' behalf supporting his application and some consideration must be given to this. The LA therefore decided to grant a licence for two vehicles for a period of one year only.