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Sun April 11 2021

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London skip hire firm suspended

10 Jun 15 A North London skip hire firm’s bid to expand its fleet has been turned down by the industry regulator after he found that an extra vehicle had already been operated without permission.

Wise Skip Hire Ltd, which operates from Harbet Road, Edmonton, has been suspended after ignoring a warning from licensing staff not to run over its authorised limit. It illegally operated a third vehicle during March and April 2015.

The traffic commissioner for London & the South East, Nicholas Denton, concluded that the company had gained an unfair competitive advantage over other compliant businesses.

Refusing to give the firm permission to operate an extra two vehicles, Mr Denton also made an order to suspend the licence for three days, from Saturday 13th to Tuesday 16th June.

At a public inquiry on 3rd June in Eastbourne, the regulator also found that the business did not meet financial requirements for the additional vehicles.

The hearing revealed that:

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  • the operator’s arrangements for managing drivers’ hours compliance were not satisfactory, with one driver committing regular offences of driving for more than 4.5 hours without a break
  • instances of drivers driving without a card (which is legally required to record their duties)
  • missing mileage from tachograph records
  • a recent prohibition issued to a vehicle at annual test.

This was also the company’s second appearance at public inquiry in just over 12 months. Following a previous hearing in March 2014, which dealt with vehicle safety issues, the firm was given a warning by a deputy traffic commissioner. On that occasion, the business had taken major steps to improve compliance, including immediately after the unsatisfactory inspection that led to the inquiry.

Reaching his decision at the latest hearing, Mr Denton acknowledged that the vehicle maintenance arrangements had improved since the previous inquiry. But he added that the use of the extra vehicle led to questions over trust.

“The operator has accepted that it was operating three vehicles throughout March and April, despite the clear warning in the Central Licensing Unit’s letter of 21st February 2015 that the operator must continue to operate within the licence’s current authority until the application was granted.

“By ignoring this and going ahead with the operation of three vehicles, the operator has severely damaged the trust which I must be able to have that it will manage its licence in a compliant way,” he added.

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