Take transport manager role more seriously, says regulator15 November 2013

Hauliers and CPC holders must take the responsibilities of the transport manager more seriously.

That's the warning from Richard Turfitt, East of England traffic commissioner, after one transport manager said he was too busy to attend a public enquiry.

The CPC licence holder in question, Andrew Bonner of Leicester-based Martel Logistics, told the traffic commissioner in writing that it was impossible to take time out during the working week to attend a hearing.

It emerged that Bonner was not paid for his role, although he said he was discharging the duties of CPC holder, including visiting the firm's operating centre each week.

The enquiry was called to consider his nomination as CPC holder for the logistics business after the company failed to return its transport manager questionnaire.

Martel had declared that Bonner had taken over as CPC holder in October 2012, with the previous transport manager still helping out.

However, subsequent enquiries revealed that Bonner had in fact commenced his role as an external transport manager on 3 November 2012 and the previous CPC holder was not available during October, meaning the firm had been without a transport manager for the month.

The traffic commissioner refused Martel Logistics' application to add Bonner as transport manager, but gave the firm 28 days to appoint a paid transport manager to its licence, to satisfy professional competence.

The commissioner said: "EU regulations introduced in December 2011 gave traffic commissioners the power to take action against transport managers, independently of operator licence holders...

"It is simply not acceptable for an existing transport manager, or proposed transport manager, to say that they are too busy to appear before the regulator who is charged with ensuring they are currently performing – or will be able to perform – the TM role in line with the requirements."

Anbd he added: "Traffic commissioners have been established as the gatekeepers to the industry and it is vital that we ensure there is compliance with the requirements and a level playing field for all responsible operators, including those who are required to satisfy professional competence."

Laura Cork

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