Last reviewed 27 January 2022

A haulage company has been found to have started operating HGVs despite a director’s assurance in August 2021 that it would not do so in advance of authority being granted.

Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton has therefore refused an application for a standard national goods vehicle operator’s licence made by REL Haulage Ltd.

The purpose of the company was to bring together the profitable elements of several distressed haulage companies. It was a long-term investment, with one man, Ian Newman, running it day-to-day as director and another, Adam Lewis, having an overseeing role.

Andy Scott, an offshore investor, stated that he was using his vehicle, REL Capital Ltd, to support the companies.

However, the Commissioner found that Mr Scott and Mr Lewis have a long history of failed road haulage companies behind them – companies that enter liquidation owing large sums of money to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other creditors.

Their practice was, he said, to hive off the profitable parts into new companies, leaving creditors of the old companies high and dry.

Mr Denton found that a similar intention lay behind the application from REL Haulage: it was intended to be a vehicle for the profitable parts of REL Storage, leaving the rest of that company to go into liquidation owing money.

“Before the inquiry, I was shown a letter, dated the very day of the inquiry, threatening staff with redundancy as a result of the Traffic Commissioner’s decision,” he noted. “This was a repugnant attempt to influence my decision and not the act of a reputable company.”

Describing REL Haulage as just the latest domino in the series of failed companies overseen by Messrs Scott and Lewis, the Commissioner concluded that they were not of good repute and were not “a business or people in whom I could have any trust”.