Mr. Hodgson Probes Irregularities In Contract A Operations
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rONTRACT A licences were not \--• granted as a matter of right to enable holders to do as they liked. More publicity should be given to the obligations imposed on those providing transport in this way. The East Midland Licensing Authority, Mr. Charles Hodgson, said this at Nottingham last week during the course of an inquiry into alleged illegalities committed by two contract A licence holders.
Mr. J. Davis, for E. R. Swinton and Son, Burbage, Leicestershire, applicants for a contract licence with T. Jones, Ltd., London coal and coke factors, said they came into haulage last January and operated three contract -vehicles carrying solid fuel on behalf of two Midland customers.
Through ignorance and failure to take proper advice, it was admitted they had stock-piled solid fuel at their premises to give the customers speedy delivery. All three vehicles had been used without separation of loads. This practice had now been discontinued and a B licence application was being considered.
A second error had been the belief that once the contract was signed and an application lodged, the vehicles could be operated without waiting for the licence to be granted. Prosecutions for failing to keep proper records arose because the partners and their drivers were working all the hours available, keeping the vehicles going day and night. Clerical supervision had been non-existent.
All these things had been remedied and they would undertake to operate strictly within the law in future.
Mr. Hodgson said that a severe warning would meet the case in the circumstances. Proper advice had been sought and no further action would be taken against the existing licences. The new application would also be granted.