Airlynx Express disqualified

Southampton-based Airlynx Express is to have its licence revoked.

Additionally, the company’s Keith S Trenchard has lost his repute as Transport Manager and is disqualified from acting as such for an indefinite period. Fellow Transport Manager, Tracy Ralph, has also lost her repute and is disqualified from acting as such for a period of one year. To allow for a managed winding-up of the business, revocation of the operator’s licence takes effect from 23:59 hours on 10 November 2018. Airlynx Express is disqualified from holding an operator’s licence for a period of ten years. The decision comes after a year-long investigation.

The rulings were made in response to the company being found to be non-compliant in downloading vehicle tachograph unit data. During the investigation, it was found one of its vehicles had 4,863kms unaccounted for, while another had 5,417kms unaccounted. Both were analogue tachograph equipped vehicles. According to Traffic Commissioner for the West of England, Kevin Rooney, the company’s approach to collecting tachograph data was fundamentally lacking to the extent that no real meaningful analysis of drivers’ hours compliance would have been possible.

In his written decision, Kevin Rooney said: “In terms of drivers’ hours compliance, this company is rotten to the core. It is incurable. The seriousness of offending and sheer dangerous operation both in 2016 and 2018 mean that this is not a business that can be allowed to operate public service vehicles again. Its good repute is forfeit. A lengthy disqualification is appropriate.”

Examples of tachograph non-compliance given in the Traffic Commissioner’s decision included:

Driver Maidment failed to record driving from Eastleigh to Southampton on 12 August 2016 where he took over a coach. On 24 October, he drove 123km in one hour 35 minutes with no card in the tachograph head. On 18 June 2016, driver Leonard Richards drives from 4.08am until 7.30am with the card of Mr Rosendale, his son, in the tachograph head. On 18 September 2016, driver Rideout drives five hours 57 minutes with a break of only 28 minutes. On 21 August 2016, driver Robinson drove five hours and 15 minutes with no qualifying break within a duty period of 17 hours and 45 minutes and hid the offences by pulling his card. On 9 September, he pulled his card to hide a duty period of 16 hours, 59 minutes and driving of ten hours 19 minutes. Driver Sweed pulls his card on 21 October 2016 to hide driving six hours and 15 minutes with no breaks.

Driver Addie, the Gatwick driver, had driven on ten occasions covering 3,156 kms, all without a card. The Traffic Commissioner’s written decision said of this: “Failing to put the card in the slot is almost always, in my experience, a deliberate act.”

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