A Salford cash and carry firm has lost its transport licence after an industry regulator ruled vehicle safety standards at the business were “truly appalling”.
Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England, Miles Dorrington, concluded that the conduct of Santorini Ltd had been so bad that it was no longer fit to hold an operator’s licence.
Mr Dorrington revoked the company’s licence to run HGVs from 16 April, which means means the firm can no longer use vehicles to carry its own goods.
His decision follows a public inquiry held last month into an investigation by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
A vehicle examiner from the government body reported the firm had no procedures in place for maintaining its vehicles to the required safety standards, including no system for drivers to report defects identified before vehicles were used and no inspection paperwork to show that vehicles had undergone routine safety checks.
The company had also operated a vehicle in Norway but the terms of its licence did not allow this. The company held a restricted operator’s licence – which only authorises the carriage of its own goods in EU member states.
During the inquiry, the firm produced documents relating to vehicle maintenance but the Deputy Traffic Commissioner said none of the paperwork satisfied him that vehicles were being operated to a compliant and acceptable standard.
Making an order to revoke the company’s licence, Mr Dorrington remarked:
“There were virtually no positives in this case. The operator was, at the date of the public inquiry, where [the] Vehicle Examiner found them on 29 September 2016. In addition it has come to light about the unlawful operation in Norway and the unlawful use of an operating centre there.
“I have given the operator some credit for being open before me and for the apology offered and for the lack of prohibitions. After undertaking a careful balancing exercise I have determined that the negatives significantly outweigh the positives.”
The Deputy Traffic Commissioner warned the company that if it operated commercial vehicles after the revocation of its licence then DVSA could impound them.