A Linwood transport firm, AK Express Scotland Ltd, has been refused permission to operate HGVs from Lanark and Paisley by industry regulator Joan Aitken.
Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner concluded the company was a front for Scott Smith, who is prevented from applying for his own licence because he is subject to an order for sequestration.
Following a public inquiry in Edinburgh earlier this month, Miss Aitken remarked: “Fair competition is at the heart of operator licensing and an application such as that made by AK Express Scotland offends fair competition.
“In this case AK Express Scotland Ltd is the front, the means, whereby Scott Smith who would be unable to get a licence in his own name or be a company director, uses others, AK Express Scotland Ltd and his mother, to gain an operator licence.”
The Traffic Commissioner said she was satisfied the application was a front because:
- the business of AK Express Scotland Ltd is a direct continuation of the business of SLA Transport Ltd (a company which Scott Smith is a director of and which is in compulsory liquidation)
- Scott Smith’s name was listed in two public notices associated with the application
- Scott Smith was the contact person for the application
- the sole director and shareholder of AK Express Scotland Ltd is Scott Smith’s mother, Caroline Smith, who appeared from bank statements to be a salaried employee of the business
- there was no other information available to the Traffic Commissioner to indicate that Mrs Smith had the background, expertise, contacts, resources to be an international haulier and that she had no connection with SLA Transport Ltd