The Traffic Commissioner has disqualified an Edzell school transport provider after they were found to have cut corners and falsified documents.
Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner disqualified Glenesk Travel Ltd from operating vehicles after one of the firm’s directors falsified maintenance paperwork to mislead government inspectors.
Joan Aitken ruled that Alan Gray had not acted impulsively when he gave false documents to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).
“Over many hours he has sat down and deliberately manufactured a set of records,” she remarked in a written decision issued after a public inquiry.
“He was prepared to deceive and mislead a public official in the exercise of his duties and to deceive that Examiner into concluding that the licence undertakings were being met.”
The Traffic Commissioner also made an order to disqualify directors Alan Gray and Ruth Gray from holding or obtaining another operator’s licence for 18 months. Additionally, Mr Gray was disqualified from acting as a transport manager for the same period because he had not taken the role seriously and responsibly.
“Mr Gray was too stretched and had insufficient personnel to meet the demands of the business and time which should have been spent on safety inspections was given over to driving,” she added.
The company came to the attention of DVSA examiners at Perth Races on April 22, 2016, when a vehicle carrying passengers was inspected. A vehicle examiner found that one of the tyres was below the legal limit and the vehicle’s exhaust pipe was split.
At a follow up investigation, the examiner issued another prohibition to a vehicle which had a defective entry/exit door. Mr Gray also produced safety inspection records for his vehicles, however the DVSA officer was concerned about the authenticity of the paperwork.
On 20 July 2016, Mr Gray admitted during an interview that he had made up some of the records, telling the examiner that he had carried out the maintenance on the vehicles but not filled in the paperwork at the time.
However, after examining evidence at the inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner said she did not believe the account he gave at the interview with DVSA.
“The prohibition at Perth races suggested that a preventative maintenance inspection of that vehicle had not happened for if it had the tyre would have been under the closest of scrutiny and would have been replaced before 22 April.
“It requires systems and discipline to inspect [vehicles] at the due frequency or within it. Such systems and discipline go hand in hand with paperwork,” she added.
The Traffic Commissioner’s revocation and disqualification orders take effect at 11.59pm on March 31, 2017.