A Barry transport manager who admitted falsifying vehicle maintenance records has been disqualified indefinitely by the Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Nick Jones.
Edwin James, 62, said he falsified routine HGV safety inspections because he had difficulty the receiving paperwork from his maintenance provider.
But evidence from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealed the vehicles had not been maintained as claimed by Mr James.
During a public inquiry at Cardiff Civil Justice Centre on 03 October, which Mr James did not attend, a DVSA vehicle examiner said the poor condition of vehicles indicated routine safety inspections had not in fact been conducted.
The examiner visited the maintenance provider who Mr James claimed had been carrying out safety checks. The maintenance provider said he was not responsible for those inspections and did not work on Saturdays, when many of the checks were said to have taken place. The signature on the records had not been made by the maintenance provider and were forgeries.
DVSA’s investigations into Mr James began after one of his vehicles was stopped and the trailer found to have a safety critical defect. During a subsequent visit to his operating centre in Foelgastell, Llanelli, examiners found further safety critical defects and non compliance with the drivers’ hours regulations.
In a written decision issued after the hearing, Mr Jones said:
“I accept all of the evidence given to me by both DVSA examiners and go on to congratulate them on the thoroughness of their investigation.
“This revealed that the operator has operated vehicles in an unsafe manner, moreover the falsification of records demonstrates his untrustworthiness. I note that Mr James claimed that he falsified records merely because his maintenance provider had not supplied him with the correct paperwork, but that was not the case. Mr James was untruthful when he made this claim to the DVSA examiners.”
The Traffic Commissioner revoked the vehicle operating licence held by Mr James and disqualified from holding or obtaining another licence for seven years. He was also disqualified from acting as a transport manager for an indefinite period.
“Virtually all of the failings identified are down to his lamentable performance as a transport manager,” the regulator added.