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JMW has an enviable record when representing operators at Public Inquiries nationwide. We regularly represent applicants and existing licence holders where concerns have arisen upon application or during the use of the licence.
About Public Inquiries
Public Inquiries are often a stressful time for an Operator as in most circumstances the Operator places an enormous financial dependence upon the continuance or the grant of the licence. Whether that operator is a sole trader, applying for the use of 1 or 2 vehicles or an already established licence holder with an expansive fleet, the majority of licence holders are financially dependent on obtaining or retaining their operator’s licence.
JMW’s Road Transport Solicitors have a wide range of experience, successfully representing all types of licence holders at Public Inquiry’s around the UK, from small long-standing family run businesses to national and international haulage companies.
Public Inquiries are often convened following:
- a DVSA investigation;
- a new application for an Operator’s Licence;
- an application to vary the current Operator’s Licence; or
- allegations of misconduct by the Operator; or
- convictions of the Operator or the Operator’s employee.
Public Inquiries can be called for many reasons; however, we find that shortcomings as to maintenance systems; personal or commercial insolvency; questionable repute; lack of financial standing; unlawful use of the licence; and the applicants main occupation (PSV applicants only) make up the majority of them.
Traffic Commissioner Powers
At the Public Inquiry, the Traffic Commissioner has the power to:
- Issue a warning;
- Ask the Operator to make new undertakings;
- Reduce the number of vehicles the Operator is allowed to operate (“curtailment”);
- Suspend the licence for a period of time; or
- Revoke 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.
The time between receiving the calling-in letter and attending the Public Inquiry is invaluable. If you are thinking of instructing legal representation, it is this time which provides crucial. 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.