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Traffic commissioner suspends scaffolding firm

3 Jun 15 A Tyneside scaffolding firm has been suspended from operating for two weeks after failing to improve its vehicle safety standards.

One of the vehicles issued with a fixed penalty for a dangerous load
One of the vehicles issued with a fixed penalty for a dangerous load

Wallsend-based Construction Access (NE) Ltd will not be able to run any of its vehicles until 13th June, following a ruling by the deputy traffic commissioner Miles Dorrington.

The transport industry regulator also warned the firm that its vehicles will be impounded if they are used while the licence is suspended.

The suspension runs from 30th May up to and including 12th June.

Traffic commissioners are responsible for licensing and regulating operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), public service vehicles (PSVs) and local bus services.

Mr Dorrington ruled that the company’s fitness had been ‘severely tarnished’ after hearing about vehicle safety issues during a public inquiry on 12th May in Leeds. Evidence from the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) revealed that the company had failed to make any improvements to maintenance standards after failing an inspection in May 2014.

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At a follow-up investigation in November 2014, a DVSA vehicle examiner found issues with missing paperwork, record keeping, driver defect reporting and safety inspection arrangements.

He also reported that a vehicle stopped earlier in the month was being used with a prohibition still in force. Prohibitions are issued to vehicles found with mechanical defects and should be officially removed by a DVSA officer once repair work has taken place. At the time of the encounter, the defects originally identified on the prohibition had not been repaired.

The agency’s records revealed that other notices had been issued to vehicles operated by the firm, including two fixed penalties for dangerous loads.  The annual test failure rate was also higher than the national average.

Mr Dorrington noted that the company had previously been called to a public inquiry due to concerns about driver compliance issues, in August 2013. The company was given a formal warning about its conduct on that occasion.

After hearing evidence from the company about its maintenance standards, the deputy traffic commissioner made the order to suspend the firm’s licence.

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