5 March 2014

A Southall import and distribution firm had its transport licence revoked this week after Traffic Commissioner Nicholas Denton found a “widespread and sustained failure” to comply with the laws on operating commercial vehicles.

Accusing the firm of cutting corners, he said that it gave drivers work they could not possibly complete legally.

The industry regulator for London and the South East also disqualified the firm’s director, Alfonso Amitrano, from holding or obtaining a new operator’s licence for a period of three months.

Evidence from the police and enforcement officers from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealed that the firm's drivers were frequently breaking drivers’ hours rules by not taking the correct breaks or the required minimum daily and weekly rest periods.

Furthermore, drivers were carrying out driving without using the required cards to record their journeys, and two safety-critical prohibition notices were issued to vehicles in September 2013, one of which was for serious brake and tyre defects.

In evidence to the Traffic Commissioner, Mr Amitrano accepted that he had done nothing to implement the recommendations made by the DVSA vehicle examiner following an investigation into vehicle maintenance standards in 2013.

Mr Denton said that Mr Amitrano had been given many opportunities to comply with the drivers’ hours rules but had failed to take them. The company had shown that it was not fit to hold an operator’s licence, he concluded.