So says West Midlands Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton, adding that transport managers “ought to know all is not as it should be if operators fail to engage with them”.
His warning comes after a replacement transport manager admitted at a public inquiry on 21 March (2017) in Birmingham to having had no contact with the O licence holder while his application was being reviewed.
The regulator told Renford Stephenson he should have been concerned after operator Ace Drinks asked him to be on a licence and submitted the forms, but didn’t have any further contact.
This was a strong indication that all was not as it should have been with the nomination, says Denton.
“Mr Stephenson had had no involvement at all with Ace Drinks while his application was being considered: he had never exercised the transport manager’s duties even on an informal basis,” says the Traffic Commissioner remarked.
Ace Drinks had come to the regulator’s attention after its previous transport manager, Charles North, resigned due to lack of communication with Ace Drinks director Parminder Dhadwal.
Following the conclusion of the public inquiry, Denton made an order to disqualify Dhadwal from operating for 12 months.
“Because he has behaved in such an irresponsible manner, in failing to answer numerous pieces of correspondence and continuing to operate for 14 months without any kind of functioning transport manager, and in notifying my clerk of his non-attendance at the inquiry only a few hours before it was due to take place, I conclude that a period of disqualification is appropriate.”