Sarah Bell the Traffic Commissioner has released details on her hearing into the whole Black Velvet / Western Greyhound saga. It makes quite interesting reading:
Black Velvet Travel Limited PH1075733
1. Pursuant to adverse findings under Section 17(3)(a),(aa),(b),(c) and (e) of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, Black Velvet Travel Limited no longer satisfies the requirements of Section 14ZA(2)(b) and (c) of the 1981 Act to be of good repute and of appropriate financial standing. Accordingly, the Licence is revoked pursuant to section 17 (1)(a) of the 1981 Act with immediate effect.
2. Pursuant to Section 28 of the Transport Act 1985, Black Velvet Travel Limited and Mr Michael John Bishop are disqualified for an indeterminate period from holding or obtaining an Operator’s Licence or being involved in management, administration or control of the transport operations of any entity that holds or obtains such a Licence in Great Britain with immediate effect.
3. A formal warning is issued to the former Transport Manager, Mr Philip John Stockley.
Western Greyhound Limited PH0006741
4. Pursuant to adverse findings under Section 17(3) (a),(aa),(b),(c) and (e) of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, Western Greyhound Limited no longer satisfies the requirements of Section 14ZA(2)(b) and (c) of the 1981 Act to be of good repute and of appropriate financial standing. Accordingly, the Licence is revoked pursuant to section 17 (1)(a) of the 1981 Act with immediate effect.
5. Pursuant to Section 28 of the Transport Act 1985, Western Greyhound Limited and Mr Michael John Bishop are disqualified for an indeterminate period from holding or obtaining an Operator’s Licence or being involved in the management, administration or control of the transport operations of an entity that holds or obtains such a Licence in Great Britain with immediate effect.
6. In relation to former Directors Mr Robin William Orbell and Mrs Maria Magdalena Howarth, no further action is taken.
7. As of 31 March 2013 Mr Stockley was the Sole Director and Sole Transport Manager of Black Velvet Travel Limited (“BVTL”) until he resigned on 31 July 2014. During that time the Licence was authorised for 16 vehicles. On or around 31 July 2014 a transfer of ownership took place. At around that time my Office was notified that there had been a maintenance investigation undertaken by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (“DVSA”) and the outcome was marked ‘unsatisfactory’. In relation to the new Director, Mr Bishop, it was noted that he had been the director of a previous company with an Operator’s Licence, which had gone into liquidation owing in excess of £1 million. In December 2014 there was a serious road traffic accident involving a BVTL vehicle. At about the same time, my office was notified of unsatisfactory maintenance issues in relation to Western Greyhound Limited (“WGL”) and that shortly thereafter at least one of the gentlemen currently involved in BVTL appeared to be associated with the takeover of WGL in December 2014. I was also made aware of timeliness issues with local services. In the circumstances I determined that both of the Operators’, the former and proposed Transport Managers and former and current Directors should all be called to a Public Inquiry. At the date of the Public Inquiry the applications in relation to replacement transport managers had yet to be determined and so there were no specified transport managers at that time.
8. A letter setting out additional matters to be considered at the Public Inquiry were sent on 26 February 2015 and 9 March 2015 because it had come to my attention that a Mr Adam Paul Smith had also been a director of BVTL (1/8/14 – 02/9/14). He was added and removed as a director of the company via the Self-Service Facility on the Operator Licensing Business System. In addition Mr Smith, (also known by his birth name Paul Jones, d.o.b 21/06/83) (‘Mr Smith/Jones’), was convicted of a serious offence at Kingston Crown Court on or around 2 September 2014, which was not notified. An e mail had also been received via Southampton City Council whereby Mr Smith/Jones appeared to hold himself out to be a director of BVTL in December 2014. Further a report of a bus monitoring exercise conducted by DVSA in relation to BVTL between 11 December 2014 and 6 January 2015 identified non-compliance of a level that met the standards to refer it to a Traffic Commissioner.
9. The Public Inquiry was due to be heard on 23 and 24 March 2015. Beforehand a request was received offering the surrender of the BVTL Licence. I declined to accept the request prior to the hearing because the accounts and annual return were overdue and the compliance history needed to be considered. Following a finding under Section 17(3)(e) of the 1981 Act (material change, namely the cessation of WGL trading apparently due to an inability to insure its vehicles), on 21 March 2015 I granted the adjournments requested by Mr Bishop after suspending both Licences with immediate effect.
THE PUBLIC INQUIRY
10. The Public Inquiry commenced and concluded on 10 September 2015 in the Public Inquiry Room at the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, Jubilee House, Croydon Street, Bristol BS5 0GB. I heard oral evidence from DVSA Examiners Mr Keiron Ackerman, Mr Phil Breen and Mr Colin Toy. I heard oral evidence from PC 2239 Neilson, Mr Stockley and Mr Orbell. I read into evidence the explanations from Mr David Tarrant and Mr Mark Howarth as to their absence at the Public Inquiry. On 4 September 2015 my Public Inquiry Clerk received an email from Mr Bishop stating that he was unable to attend the Public Inquiry as he could not afford legal representation. He said that he would send in a written statement regarding his involvement in relation to BVTL and WGL so that it may assist me in disposing of the matter. No statement was ever received. At the conclusion of the Public Inquiry, I stated I would give Mr Tarrant a further 14 days to send in written representations and that I would endeavour to issue my decision within 35 days thereafter. I directed that the Operator Licences for BVTL and WGL remain suspended pending my final written decision.
DOCUMENTS AND EVIDENCE
11. Prior to this written decision I have considered the following documents:-
(i) My Public Inquiry Brief for WGL,BVTL and the individuals called.
(ii) Documents produced during the course of the Public Inquiry.
(iii) My hand-written contemporaneous notes from the hearing.
(v) Ribble Motor Coaches Limited v The Traffic Commissioner for the North Western Traffic Area  EWCA Civ267 Court of Appeal (Civil Division), Southdown Motor Services Limited T/A Stagecoach Transport Tribunal Appeal 2007/311 and First Manchester Limited T/2012/15 in relation to ‘reasonable excuse’.
(vi) South Bucks District Council and another V Porter(FC) (2004) UKHL33, English v Emery Reimbold & Strick Ltd [2002 EWCA Civ 605 and Bradley Fold Travel Limited & Peter Wright v Secretary of State for Transport  EWCA Civ 695 in relation to written decisions generally.
(vii) The Senior Traffic Commissioner Statutory Guidance and Statutory Directions No. 14 issued March 2015.
12. The evidence is a matter of record from the documents and available transcript. I have set out some detail the chronology of events and the way the evidence evolved to put all matters in context.
13. The DVSA Examiner Reports in relation to BVTL and WGL are not materially challenged. There are within the hearing bundles detailed explanations sent contemporaneously to DVSA by the then Directors/Transport Managers providing explanations and assurances, prior to the involvement of Mr Bishop and Mr Smith/Jones. The contents are in themselves admissions but also mitigation. I have no material representations from Mr Smith or Mr Bishop in relation to their tenure, save for the letter from Mr Bishop dated 16 March 2015. It therefore falls to me to make specific findings in relation to the available evidence and determine what action, if any, to take against the current and former Directors and former Transport Managers.
CONSIDERATION AND FINDINGS.
14. I found the DVSA Examiners to be measured throughout in their opinions, which were supported by the evidence. I remind myself of the importance of setting out my approach at the outset. In relation to both Operators, there are 2 specific periods of operation; the period which before the involvement of Mr Bishop and Mr Smith/Jones and the period after their involvement. Accordingly my approach to this part of the decision process is to address each of those categories.
BVTL to 31 July 2014
15. On 23 September 2013 DVSA conducted a maintenance investigation which was marked as “unsatisfactory”. On 2 October 2013 Mr Stockley met with the Vehicle Examiner at the local Goods Vehicle Testing Station and on 4 October 2013 sent detailed written representations and assurances with regard to future compliance. At the conclusion the Vehicle Examiner determined that a follow-up in 6 months’ time would be appropriate. On 25 October 2014 BVTL received an “S” marked Prohibition at the roadside. The Prohibition was for loose wheel nuts and flooring in poor condition which was likely to cause injury. The DVSA follow-up investigation arising from this history took place on 4 March 2014. At the fleet inspection 3 vehicles were checked with 1 delayed Prohibition being issued. The outcome was marked as ‘unsatisfactory’ because the Operator had a poor annual test first time pass history. Whilst issues arising at the previous investigation had been resolved, standards needed to be raised with the defect reporting and defect rectification details. On 31 March 2014 Mr Stockley sent a detailed written response to the Vehicle Examiner. In relation to the loose wheel nuts Mr Stockley was unable to assist because there was nothing to suggest an issue at the previous PMI and the wheels had not been removed. The Vehicle Examiner accepted that this as an anomaly.
16. The Vehicle Examiner described Mr Stockley as always helpful and cooperative. It was noted that between the September 2013 and March 2014 investigations BVTL had (a) instructed an auto-electrician to provide an extra layer of compliance management to do running repairs; and (b) it had sacked the previous tyre company and replaced it with one of national repute with monthly checks. More detail as to the challenges faced and the steps taken to improve compliance are set out in Mr Stockley’s comprehensive written statement dated 12 March 2015.
17. It is clear from the evidence before me that despite the issues found by DVSA, Mr Stockley has a positive approach to compliance. He always provided comprehensive responses to DVSA and had clearly engaged in looking for the root causes of the failings. It was as a result of this that Mr Stockley identified an appropriate level of compliance was not going to be achieved with the aging fleet and that substantial capital investment was required. Regrettably a full review of the business available in the local area, the level of competition and the margins prevented this level of investment. This was compounded by the significant loss in revenue due to flooding in the winter months at the end of 2013 and the start of 2014. He made the difficult decision to sell the business after many years in the industry. It was his intention at that time to perhaps continue with a smaller fleet of say 5 vehicles at some point but subsequent events precluded that. On 31 July 2014 Mr Stockley resigned as Director and Transport Manager and on 4 August 2014 he notified those changes to the Central Licensing Office in Leeds. This is well within the 28 days statutory timescale to notify such changes.
18. Whilst compliance was below par in September 2013 and March 2014 there had been some improvements and an effective root and branch review was conducted by Mr Stockley. He did not shy away from these difficult decisions; before the maintenance investigation in 2013 BVTL had a good history. Before selling the business Mr Stockley undertook his own due diligence enquiries into the purchaser, including checks to ensure the necessary resources were in place for financial standing. Taking into account the positive and negative features, I am satisfied that it is not necessary for me to take action in relation to Mr Stockley as a Director or Transport Manager. However, should Mr Stockley seek to return to the industry he will need to undertake some refresher training as there have been advances in the information available, such as the revised Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Guidance and Statutory Directions since his resignation in July 2014. Accordingly, Mr Stockley does not feature in paragraphs 1 and 2 above and I have reached the decision set out in paragraph 3 above.
WGL to 9 December 2014
19. In 2013 WGL was the subject of repeat arson attacks in which 38 vehicles were a total loss. WGL kept my Office informed with regular updates as to the impact and also the great assistance it was receiving from other local Operators to meet its obligations for example in relation to local services. It was a shocking event for the business and had an on-going impact for a considerable period of time. Mr and Mrs Howarth had been directors since 1997. Mr Orbell was a director for 14 years but retired in early 2013. However, he returned as a Director in October 2013 to help WGL through the challenging period. The Transport Mangers throughout the relevant period were Mr Mark Howarth and Mr David Tarrant. In September 2013 WGL was the subject of a full maintenance investigation by DVSA and it is significant to note that the outcome of that investigation was satisfactory.
20. Between 8 and 23 September 2014 DVSA conducted a local services bus monitoring exercise and over the course of 7 days monitored 7 registrations. Before consideration of ‘reasonable excuse’ there was 43% non-compliance including 8 failed to operate. Two challenges were subsequently made by the Operator in relation to the failed to operate and 1 was accepted. At the conclusion of his Report dated 24 November 2014, the Examiner states: “Overall, the operator rarely appears to contest the compliance findings but mainly reports the reasons why the vehicle was late or did not operate. A number of non compliance issues have been responded to by the operator stating that there were no vehicles or no drivers available to operate the service. Some of the late journeys are caused by the vehicle starting its journey late and two routes appear not to have operated despite the registered particulars indicating that the routes should have been serviced until the end of September”.
21. In light of those representations, the Examiner decided to conduct a maintenance investigation and this took place on 2 November 2014. The outcome was marked as “unsatisfactory” because the Operator had an unsatisfactory Prohibition history and the driver defect reporting and preventative maintenance systems were not sufficiently robust. This manifested itself in 12 prohibitions issued at the fleet inspection: 10 Immediate, 2 Delayed and 2 of which were ‘S’ marked, indicating a significant failure in the maintenance systems. The Examiner did note that the Operator had an 87% pass rate at annual test in the period since the previous investigation in 2013.
22. Mr Howarth, as Managing Director and Transport Manager, sent in a detailed written response. The Vehicle Examiner states in his Report “The response outlined difficulties experienced by the Operator and acknowledges urgent action is needed”.
23. In that comprehensive letter dated 28 November 2014, Mr Howarth states “You will be aware that we have been ‘to hell and back’ having had 2 arson attacks, losing 38 buses in total, plus the difficulties of continuing to operate through the extensive floods earlier in the year which caused mayhem on the electrical systems of the buses we have. There has been a mass exodus of staff due to the various issues of competition and we are working very hard to get back to the high standards that we have had for a long time. You will also remember that you visited several times earlier in the year and were fully compliant. . . . To conclude, I respectfully feel that I am able to reasonably demonstrate that appropriate steps are already being taken immediately, to return to the high standards that we have always had. The whole company has experienced incredible difficulties, not of its own making which has placed it where it is, but we will leave no stone unturned to deal with these issues which we take tremendously seriously”.
24. On 8 December 2014, an asset sale of part of the WGL business, completed with a Go-Ahead subsidiary. On 9 December 2014 WGL was sold to Mr Bishop. Mr and Mrs Howarth have now retired from the industry and are on a long sojourn abroad to pursue other interests. Mr Howarth has recently received a Confederation of Passenger Transport Honorary Membership in recognition of his 49 years service to the industry and the work he undertook for CPT for many of those years.
25. It is fair to say that until 2013 WGL was not on the compliance radar for its previous 15 years of trading. I accept that the close sequence of catastrophic events described by Mr Howarth presented a challenge individually as well as cumulatively. Mr Howarth and Mr Orbell do not seek to condone the non compliance but have put matters in context between them before and during the hearing. In relation to Mr Orbell I am satisfied that as a director he did exercise independent judgement, skill and care and ensured an appropriate level of diligence after he returned to the company to help it with the challenges in 2013 and 2014. It is not appropriate or proportionate for me to take action in relation to Mr Orbell in such circumstances. In relation to Mrs Howarth I am told that she suffered an illness and complications during the relevant period. Whilst she attended Board Meetings held at her home she was not able to take an active role during the relevant period. I refer to the helpful analysis of Board working and the collective responsibility of directors in 2012/025 First Class Freight Ltd and 2010/071 Eurofast. On the facts of this case, I am satisfied it is appropriate and proportionate to take no action in relation to Mrs Howarth. In relation to Mr Howarth on balance I do not take any action at this time either as a Director or Transport Manager. All matters are left to lie on the file. They may be revisited in the unlikely event that he should seek to return to the industry in the future. Accordingly, I have reached the decisions set out in paragraphs 6 above.
26. Mr Tarrant has lodged a statement which on the face of it suggests that he was a Transport Manager in name only. This was less definitive after the evidence of Mr Orbell. If true it has very serious consequences for his good repute and professional competence in light of the Upper Tribunal Decision in 2011/036 LWB Limited. It follows that I do need to hear from Mr Tarrant in person to fully explore exactly what he actually meant. At the same time I must consider the best use of limited tribunal resources and I do not gain the impression that Mr Tarrant intends to seek a further nomination any time soon. However I do direct that if Mr Tarrant applies to be nominated as a transport manager on an operator’s licence anywhere in Great Britain then the application must be referred to a Traffic commissioner or Deputy and his statements lodged to this Inquiry should be made available for the purposes of that referral.
BVTL and WGL under Mr Bishop and Mr Smith/Jones.
27. Save for a period of approximately 1 month Mr Bishop has been the sole registered director of BVTL and WGTL. In such circumstances there is clear and consistent case law from the Upper Tribunal that I am entitled to treat the conduct of the Sole Director effectively as the conduct of the Limited Company and repute is determined accordingly. Such an approach has received approval from the appellate tribunal on a number of occasions, as recently as 2013/008 Vision Travel International Limited and T2013/61 Alan Michael Knight.
28. On 1 August 2014 Mr Smith was appointed as a Director of BVTL. On 13 August 2014 Mr Bishop became a Director and the following day a TM1 form was sent to the Central Licensing Unit in Leeds nominating him as the Transport Manager. On 2 September 2014 Mr Smith resigned as a Director and on or about the same day he was sentenced at Kingston upon Thames Crown Court after pleading guilty to spending 3 counterfeit £20 notes knowing they were not genuine and 2 counts of possessing fake notes. The total money involved was £9,600. Mr Smith was sentenced to a 16-month prison sentence suspended for 2 years and ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work. The sentencing Judge is reported as saying “If I were to send you to prison then a number of people at Black Velvet would have their employment put in jeopardy”.
29. In relation to an incident on 12 December 2014, a BVTL driver (Mr John Riley) was prosecuted. At the Public Inquiry the police confirmed that the driver pleaded guilty to using a vehicle in a dangerous condition (for which he received 3 points on his driver’s licence and a fine. Further a summons was issued against BVTL for the same offence and for using a vehicle without an MOT (a Most Serious Infringement if found guilty). The case was not progressed because he was told that the company had stopped trading. The incident circumstances were that there was a road traffic accident involving a vehicle being operated by BVTL, whereby the vehicle lost both off side axle 2 road wheels when in service on the M3. One of the wheels struck an HGV. The evidence before me provides sufficient evidence there was a serious lack of judgement by both the Operator and its driver. One passenger gave a statement to the police. The minibus set off at 19.00 and there was a high pitched squeaking sound – constant whilst the vehicle was in motion and increasing under acceleration. They boarded the bus at 23.00 and the same situation arose up until the wheel loss at 23.55. On 22 December 2014 a DVSA Examiner inspected the vehicle and in his opinion the examination indicates that the road wheels had been coming loose for ‘some period of time’ before becoming detached. Further checks of the system found that the said vehicle had been out of MOT since 11 November 2014. The Vehicle Examiner produced a helpful timeline at the Inquiry, which confirmed he attended the notified BVTL premises in Eastleigh but was told by another business that BVTL had ‘suddenly vacated the premises in October/November 2014. Enquiries were made of Xelabus which revealed that the BVTL vehicles were sent to Cornwall.
30. On 8 December 2014 DVSA were notified by Eastleigh Borough Council of a number of complaints about the reliability of the BVTL local services. Between 11 December 2014 and 6 January 2015 DVSA’s monitoring exercise over 5 days found that of 48 observations there was a non compliance rate of 39% plus 15 journey displayed an incorrect destination board. BVTL was invited in writing to respond to the report (sent by tracked delivery and signed for on 21 January 2015 by ‘BVT’) but DVSA did not receive a response. On 11 January 2015 a number of registrations were cancelled (pursuant to a request dated 14 November 2014). It was BVTL’s responsibility to make sure all services ran in a timely manner until the cancellation date but failed to do so.
31. On 9 December 2014 Mr Bishop became the sole Director and shareholder of WGL. He had appeared on the scene in late November and was known to advisors of the WGL Directors. Mr Orbell set out in private the diligence undertaken before he, and the other shareholders, agreed to sell to Mr Bishop. In a supplemental Public Inquiry statement dated 17 March 2015, the Vehicle Examiner confirmed that since 2 November 2014 another 2 Immediate prohibitions and 8 advisory notices have been issued. Upon questioning by me he confirmed that since Mr Bishop took over the 2 prohibitions and 7 advisory notices had been issues. On 22 January 2015 the prohibition was for a brake fluid leak and on 7 March 2015 the prohibition was for a fuel leak. There had only been 4 clear encounters. At the hearing DVSA records confirmed that the vehicle involved in the BVTL wheel loss transferred to WGL and took 4 attempts to pass an MOT. On 31 March 2015 WGL went into administration. No proof of financial standing was received prior to this date. It should have been lodged by no later than 16 March 2015 as per the Call In letter dated 19 February 2015. Likewise no evidence of financial standing was received from BVTL by the same date. BVTL was placed in compulsory liquidation on 15 June 2015 as a result of a winding up petition on behalf of HMRC. WGL remains in administration at the date of this decision.
32. The serious incident on 12 December 2014, using a vehicle with no MOT, the high failure rate in relation to running local services, the failure to respond to the DVSA bus monitoring report, the prohibitions and advisory notices issued to WGL after 9 December 2015 and the focus on WGL to the detriment of an orderly wind down of BVTL operations, without explanation or context from Mr Bishop, are such that when I pose the question suggested by the Transport Tribunal in Priority Freight Ltd and Paul Williams 2009/225 are these Operators that I can trust to ensure future compliance, my conclusion is: No. Whilst there is some background correspondence in the hearing papers from correspondence sent to Leeds it does not even begin to address the serious issues. Mr Bishop could have attended the hearing without legal representation (as Mr Stockley and Mr Orbell did). Whilst less helpful, Mr Bishop could have sent a witness statement as he suggested he would in his e mail to my office on 4 September 2015, but he chose not to do so.
33. I have therefore proceeded to apply the question posed in 2002/217 Bryan Haulage, namely: are these Operators that should be put out of business? By reference to the significant serious shortcomings identified above posing a significant risk to road safety, passenger confidence and fair competition since 1 August 2014 for BVTL and 9 December 2014 for WGL the answer is in the affirmative. Whilst Mr Bishop’s history in operator licensing is short and it is his first Public Inquiry, he is deemed to be fully aware of the requirements (as per 2012/030 MGM Haulage and Recycling Limited) and as a transport manager CPC holder should have done far better. It follows that good repute is lost and the Operator’s Licence must be revoked.
34. I am required to consider the question of whether revocation is disproportionate in the circumstances of this case. In my judgement the answer is ‘no’. In 2012/025 First Class Freight the Upper Tribunal stated that “Traffic Commissioner’s play a central role in the enforcement of the regulatory regime for both types of vehicle. That regime is intended to ensure, amongst other things, that heavy goods and public service vehicles are properly maintained and safely operated by operatorswho comply with the operator’s licensing system and compete fairly with other hauliers’ (my emphasis).The failings are sufficiently significant that revocation is appropriate and proportionate. It follows that I have reached the Decision set out in paragraphs 1 and 4 above. The Licences must also be revoked as neither Operator satisfies the financial standing requirements.
35. In 2009/011 Katherine Oliver and J W Swan & Partners the then Transport Tribunal indicated a general principle that at the time the disqualification order is made that the operator cannot be trusted to comply with the regulatory regime and that the objectives of the system, the protection of the public and fairness to other operators, requires that the operator be disqualified.
36. When issues arose, in relation to meeting post purchase obligations, Mr Stockley arranged to see Mr Smith/Jones but was left dealing with Mr Bishop. Mr Orbell arranged a meeting with Mr Bishop on 16 December 2014 but was met by Mr Smith/Jones, who introduced himself as the General Manager and set out the plans for the business; In December 2014 Mr Smith/Jones held himself out as a director to Southampton City Council in relation to an application to change the bank account into which payments were made to BVTL. When dealing with the December 2014 wheel loss the Officer gave evidence that in a telephone conversation with Mr Smith/Jones in February 2015, Mr Smith/Jones said that he was the owner of both BVTL and WGL. All the evidence now before me indicates that BVTL and WGL has been at the very least a joint enterprise by Mr Bishop and Mr Smith/Jones regardless of who the named director was.
37. ‘Fronting’ was helpfully defined in the case of 2012/071 Silvertree, where the Upper Tribunal stated: ‘.. ‘fronting’ occurs when appearances suggest that a vehicle, (or fleet), is being operated by the holder of an operator’s licence when the reality is that it is being operated by an entity, (i.e. an individual, partnership or company), which does not hold an operator’s licence and the manner in which the vehicle is being operated requires, if the operation is to be lawful, that the real operator holds an operator’s licence. I am entitled to know whom I am regulating. It is of utmost importance that those who are directing a business so as to be the controlling mind are properly registered as directors at Companies House and CLO. I have not made formal findings of shadow directorship or similar because Mr Smith/Jones was not called in and I did not hear from Mr Bishop nor did he send a statement. However it is a matter of fact that Mr Smith/Jones has been convicted of a serious offence of dishonesty which will not be spent for many years. Whilst it does not mean a mandatory bar to operator licensing under Schedule 3 it is a conviction that will be subject to scrutiny by a Traffic Commissioner if Mr Smith/Jones sought to be involved in operator licensing. Further it was only by pure chance that a fatality or serious injury did not occur as a result of the wheel loss on 12 December 2014. Accordingly, I have reached the decision set out in paragraphs 2 and 5 above.
38. By disqualifying Mr Bishop for an indeterminate period it is open to him at any time to seek the cancellation of the direction at anytime. However he is likely to need to be in a position to address the matters raised in this case and as appropriate provide assurance as to the involvement of Mr Smith/Jones, if any.
39. If Mr Adam Paul Smith (also known as Paul Jones d.o.b 21 June 1983) applies to be involved in operator licensing in Great Britain in any guise, the application must be referred to a Traffic Commissioner or Deputy and cannot determined under delegated authority.
Illustrating the brief Black Velvet invasion in Cornwall is this nice photos by Nick Rice
I have posted this here as a matter of record so wont be making any additional comments. If you do leave any comments please be careful not to make personal allegations against named individuals.