Two Armadale transport operators who illegally ran HGVs over a long and sustained period have been described as “dishonest” by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner, Joan Aitken.
Graeme and Eion Robertson had “imperilled road safety and grossly abused fair competition” by their actions, she added, concluding they had put government inspectors through a great deal of work with their lies and denials.
The industry regulator also criticised Newhouse operator John Allan, who relinquished control of his own licence to allow the Robertsons to operate vehicles. Making an order to disqualify Mr Allan from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence for three years and from acting as a transport manager indefinitely, she said anyone who “aids the cowboys cannot expect to retain their repute”.
After hearing evidence at a public inquiry last month in Edinburgh, which Mr Allan did not attend, the Traffic Commissioner ruled that invoices produced to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) had been fabricated in response to the agency’s investigation into Mr Allan’s business.
“G & E Robertson approached John Allan for the use of his operator’s licence and disc (which are not transferable),” the Traffic Commissioner concluded. “I find that John Allan provided the cover of his licence and disc to G & E Robertson and that, at no time, was Eion Robertson a servant of John Allan or under his control.”
During the inquiry, Miss Aitken also heard that:
- a vehicle being driven by Eion Robertson had been impounded for illegal operation on 11 May 2016. A Deputy Traffic Commissioner in the North West of England refused to return the vehicle to its owner, Graeme Robertson
- Eion Robertson was stopped by DVSA on 02 December 2016 driving a vehicle from Armadale to Kippen. Examiners found drivers’ hours offences had been committed by Eion Robertson
- DVSA investigations into the 02 December encounter revealed that an invoice for the hire of the vehicle had been fabricated
In a written decision, the Traffic Commissioner said Eion Robertson and Graeme Robertson took a chance that they would not get caught.
“They are dishonest persons who have operated goods vehicles outwith the law,” she added.
Miss Aitken also remarked that anyone who engaged with unlicensed people, as John Allan had done, could not emerge with their repute intact.
The decisions made by the regulator are listed below:
John Allan – operator’s licence revoked, Mr Allan disqualified from operating for three years and acting as a transport manager indefinitely
G&E Robertson – application for a goods vehicles operator’s licence refused
Eion Robertson – professional driving licence suspended for six weeks from 23:59 on 30 June 2017
Christopher Miekle – application for goods vehicles operator’s licence refused
The Farm Supply People Ltd – application for additional vehicles granted
Source: Uk Haulier
“Dishonest” Armadale operators refused licence to run HGVs