A Bedwas-based haulage firm has been disqualified from running vehicles for 12 months over safety concerns.
Traffic Commissioner for Wales. Nick Jones said he had “no sympathy whatsoever” with Syllamas Ltd because it had knowingly operated vehicles with defects, without tax and without the appropriate test certificates.
He added the firm had prioritised commercial considerations over road safety and compliance with the law.
The regulator revoked the company’s licence to run vehicles and disqualified the firm and its director, Pauline Morris, from holding another licence for 12 months.
He also concluded that Stephen Morris had been acting as a shadow director and disqualified him for 36 months.
Mr Morris was the company’s nominated transport manager, a post from which he was also disqualified. The Traffic Commissioner additionally disqualified Mr Morris from professional driving for 12 months.
During a public inquiry at the Cardiff Civil Justice Centre last month, inspectors from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), told Mr Jones that the company had significantly compromised – and was a risk to – road safety.
One of the company’s vehicles was stopped on the M4 on January 16 this year by the DVSA.
The MOT for it and its trailer had expired and a safety critical prohibition notice was served and three fines issued for defects.
The same vehicle was stopped in Swansea the following day by police who found it was uninsured.
An investigation at the company’s premises found a defective and untested trailer parked on the road without an MOT.
Investigations also found Mr Morris was aware of the defects when the trailer was moved onto the public road and that he had continued to use an untested vehicle on 26 occasions – despite being told the MOT had expired by the DVSA.
Routine safety inspections were also not carried out and no working time directive records were kept by the company
Giving evidence to the Traffic Commissioner, Mr Morris said he had been unaware the tractor unit was out of MOT when it was stopped in January but he did admit to knowing the trailer was not tested.
He did not realise the insurance policy had terminated after direct debit payments were not made in September 2016.
In a written decision issued after the hearing, the Traffic Commissioner said he accepted that Mr Morris had not appreciated the insurance policies had expired but added that he should have known the insurance was not valid.
“In any event, he most certainly did know that he was operating without MOT certificates, without tax and with unroadworthy vehicles,” Mr Jones added.
“The failures have had a significant impact on risks to other road users.”