Call our Sales Team on 0208 912 2120

How the New Licensing Provisions will Work

8th December 1933
Page 49
Page 49, 8th December 1933 — How the New Licensing Provisions will Work
Noticed an error?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it so we can fix it.

Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Cases in Which an A or B Licence May Be Claimed as of Right by a Goodstransport Operator

IT is a tribute to the complexity of the Road and Rail Traffic Act that the Minister of Transport has prepared a memorandum to explain its provisions. The complexity of the Act is further emphasized by the fact that, in some respects, the provisions of the memorandum are even more complicated than those of the Act which it professes to explain.

This is particularly the case with regard to paragraphs 10 and 11 of the memorandum, which deal with the special provisions as to certain applications for licences contained in section 7 of the Act, and with regard to paragraph 13, which deals with "hiring margin," an expression appearing for the first (and, it is to be hoped, the last) time in the Minister's memorandum.

Many business concerns and some Government Departments do not operate their own transport, but contract with a haulier to carry out the whole of the work on the basis that the contractor supplies the vehicles and drivers, and that the vehicles are at the entire disposal of the trader or Government Department. For instance, the Post Office contracts with a well-known concern of haulage contractors to supply vehicles and drivers, instead of running all its own transport.

Grant of Licence Obligatory.

In such cases, a contract is entered into between the trader, or Department, and the contractor for a definite period. Under section 6 of the Act, the licensing authority is obliged to grant to a trader who uses his own transport a C licence, unless his licence has been suspended or revoked. Section 7 (1) of the Act enables a trader who does not own vehicles, but contracts with a haulage contractor for any period of not less than a year, to have the same right of obtaining a licence as is given to the trader who has his own vehicles, although in such a case it is the contractor, and not the trader, who requires the licence. The appropriate licence is of the A class and not a G licence.

The general rule is that the licensing authority has a discretion to grant or refuse an A licence, which is the type required by a public carrier. Section 7 (1), however, provides, in effect, that if on an application for an A licence the applicant satisfies the licensing authority that the vehicle to be licensed will be used exclusively for the purposes of a contract entered Into by the applicant with a trader

for the carriage of goods in connection with the trader's business durlug any continuous period of not less than a year, the licensing authority must grant the licence, unless he is satisfied that the applicant is not a fit person to receive it.

A vehicle licensed under these provisions may be used only for the purposes of the contract. It may not be operated after the termination of the contract, unless the permission of the licensing authority is obtained.

Long-period Contract Work.

The above provision does not apply only to cases of existing contracts, but to any contract, whether now in force or whether entered Into at any future time, so long as the contract is for a period of not less than a year. The question of the weight of the vehicles does not enter into the sub-section. Moreover, there appears to be no justification for the expression "contract" tonnage, which is used in the memorandum, so far as the word " tonnage " is concerned. "Contract work" or "contract hiring" would appear to be a more Suitable express ion.

The expression "claimed" tonnage is not to be found in the Act, but appears in paragraphs 10 and 11 of the memorandum with regard to A and B licences. It is not a happy expression, but it will be better to attempt to explain the subject to which it refers, instead of wasting time in trying to find a better OW.

"Claimed Tonnage" Explained.

A public carrier is entitled under section 7 (2) of the Act to require the licensing authority to grant him A licences in respect of vehicles having the same total weight unladen as that of his vehicles which he used mainly for the purpose of the carriage of goods for hire or reward at any one time during the year from April I, 1932, to March .31, 1933. This right to licences applies only where the application is made not later than April 1, 1934, or such later date as the Minister of Transport may appoint. It will be noted that the above right to be granted A licences is based upon the weight unladen of the vehicles which were owned and used during the year ended March 31, 1933, and that the weight of the goods carried during that period is quite immaterial. Nor is it necessary that the application should be in respect of the same vehicles which were used during that period, nor in respect of vehicles of similar individual weight unladen.

The material point is that the applicant is not entitled as of right to be granted licences in respect of vehicles which have a total greater weight unladen than the weight unladen of the vehicles which he owned and used during that period. For example, a carrier who owned and used five vehicles, each weighing four tons unladen, would be entitled to require that licences should be granted to him for five vehicles of the same weight. He would, however, equally be entitled to require licences for four vehicles, each weighing five tons.

" A " Licences for Two Years.

Section 3 of the Act provides that all A licences shall be in force for two years. After the expiration of the licences, carriers who have claimed licences under the provisions explained above will have to make fresh applications, but they will not be entitled as of right to have the licences renewed.

" Discretionary " tonnage is another unhappy expression which appears in the Minister's memorandum. What it means is that a carrier, when applying for a licence, is not limited to applying for licences for vehicles of the same total weight as those which he owned and used during the 12 months ended March 31, 1933, and for which he makes application not later than April 1, 1034, or any extended date.

Any application for licences for any other vehicle, or which is made after the specified date, may, however, be refused by the licensing authority in the exercise of his discretion, subject to right of appeal.

Section 7 (3.) of the Act contains similar provisions with regard to the right of a person who uses vehicles partly for the conveyance of goods in the course of his own trade, and partly for the conveyance of goods for hire or reward to be granted B licences, as are explained above with regard to public carriers.

The matter of "hiring margin" will be dealt with in a later issue. B35


Organisations: Post Office

comments powered by Disqus