Public Inquiries

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Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiries

Fewer things are more concerning than receiving a letter from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner calling you into a Public Inquiry. They tell you that your operator’s licence is at risk of regulatory action up to and including possible revocation. Without your licence, your transport business will struggle to put vehicles on the road, risking your livelihood.

It is important to take legal advice as soon as you think you may be referred to a Public Inquiry, or as soon as you receive the letters calling you to a Public Inquiry. These are stressful hearings and having legal representation at the earliest opportunity can help present your case to the Traffic Commissioner.

JMW has an enviable record when representing operators at Public Inquiries nationwide. We regularly represent new applicants and existing licence holders where concerns have arisen upon application for an operator’s licence or during the use of the licence.

If you have received a letter from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner regarding a Public Inquiry, speak to our solicitors today by calling 0345 872 6666. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.

How JMW Can Help with a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry

Due to the seriousness of a Public Inquiry, preparation is key, and so if you are hoping to take legal representation, early instruction can often be the difference between a formal warning and action taken against the licence. Further, it could be the difference between your application being granted or refused.

Our solicitors are on hand to provide specialist advice and representation during the Public Inquiry process. This includes:

  • Reviewing the evidence that has led to the Public Inquiry
  • Ensuring you have proper compliance systems in place
  • Identifying your options to put forward the strongest argument
  • Representing you at your Public Inquiry hearing 

The results of a Public Inquiry can have serious implications for the individual and/or business concerned. With this in mind, it is important that you seek advice and representation from an experienced solicitor. We have represented companies, company directors, transport managers and professional drivers in all proceedings before a Traffic Commissioner.

What is a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry?

A Public Inquiry is a type of disciplinary hearing held by the Traffic Commissioner. During the formal hearing, the Traffic Commissioner will question you directly in relation to any compliance failings that have occurred. They will then decide what action to take against your licence.

Public Inquiries are typically open to the public; however, in certain circumstances, the Traffic Commissioner may decide that a private hearing is suitable in the interests of a fair case.

What are the Reasons to be Called to a Public Inquiry?

Any of the below events can cause a Traffic Commissioner to consider calling an operator to a Public Inquiry:

  • A DVSA maintenance investigation
  • A DVSA investigation into drivers’ hours and systems
  • An application for a new operator’s licence
  • A bridge strike
  • A wheel loss
  • Late-running buses on registered services
  • PSVAR non-compliance
  • Allegations of misconduct by the operator
  • Convictions of the operator or the operator’s employees

What Happens During a Public Inquiry?

In a Public Inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner will want to understand the situation and establish the facts to allow themselves to decide what they think should happen to the licence in front of them. That decision may involve exercising their powers to take regulatory action in one of the following ways:

  • Issuing a formal warning
  • Curtailing the number of authorised vehicles
  • Suspending the operator’s licence
  • Revoking the licence entirely

The Traffic Commissioner may also disqualify the operator/company or any of the company’s directors for a specific period or indefinitely from holding another operator’s licence.

FAQs About Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiries

What is a Traffic Commissioner?

A Traffic Commissioner is responsible for the licensing and regulation of individuals and businesses who operate goods vehicles, buses, coaches, and other vehicles in a professional capacity. There are currently eight different Traffic Commissioner in the UK with their own designated traffic areas to oversee, which includes:

  • The North West
  • The West of England
  • London and the South East
  • The North East
  • The West Midlands
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

Traffic Commissioners can call a Public Inquiry to consider whether any action needs to be taken against an operator’s licence.

Talk to Us

Speak to the road transport lawyers at JMW today to find out more about how we can help you and your business if you’ve been called to a Public Inquiry. Simply call us on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will give you a call back at a convenient time.