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Fri May 07 2021

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Transport suspension for Kelso house-builder

7 Jun 17 Scotland's traffic commissioner has suspended a Kelso building and property business from using commercial vehicles for three months after its director made false representations about the mandatory position of transport manager.

M&J Ballantyne Ltd is not allowed to run HGVs until 1st September 2017. After that time, the company's licence will be curtailed from five to three vehicles for a further three months.

Traffic commissioner Joan Aitken said that individuals who falsely sign documents and give false undertakings to a public protection regulator undermine road safety and fair competition.

She said that she had been "on the cusp" of disqualifying the firm's director Matthew Michael Ballantyne, who is also a company director of the Scottish Building Federation.

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"I do not find Mr Ballantyne's action to be excusable," she wrote in her decision, issued after a public inquiry in Edinburgh. "I find as a fact that Mr Michael Ballantyne and [transport manager] Mr Glynn Hobkirk made a false declaration to my office in the Transport Manager Questionnaire, dated 23 May 2012. I find as a fact that Mr Michael Ballantyne made a false representation to my office in the letter of 23 May 2012 when he wrote 'to confirm our existing Transport Manager, Mr Glynn Hobkirk, (sic) is continuing in the position'. I find as a fact that Mr Michael Ballantyne as managing director and signatory to the five year checklist made a false representation to my office by leaving the name of Mr Glynn Hobkirk on that checklist."

Mr Hobkirk had in fact ceased to have any active responsibility as a transport manager in 2005.

The traffic commissioner added: β€œThe role of transport manager is at the heart of any heavy goods vehicle operation – effective and continuous management is required by law. The requirement is a road safety requirement. Road safety is preventative in its purpose. An operator licence is not a piece of paper – it is a commitment to meeting responsibilities to keep people and property safe and for fair competition.”

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