Bradford’s licence revoked after multiple drivers’ hours offences
South Wales-based Bradford’s Minibus Hire‘s operating licence is now revoked. The decision follows a public enquiry in front of Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Victoria Davis, for a series of drivers’ hours offences.
Licence holder Richard Bradford is disqualified from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence or being involved in the management, administration or control of any entity that holds or obtains a licence in Great Britain for five years (taking effect on 23 December 2023). He is also disqualified as acting as a Transport Manager for five years from the same date.
A DVSA Traffic Examiner found numerous occasions of Bradford’s Minibus Hire’s drivers not using their tachograph cards to record journeys correctly and of drivers withdrawing their cards to avoid recording drivers’ hours offences. Seven drivers, including the operator himself, were prosecuted for a total of 40 drivers’ hours offences. They all pleaded guilty at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ court on 2 August 2023 to the offences. Three drivers had their licences suspended and fined, with the rest had their cases committed to the Crown Court, where they were fined and had their licences revoked, as well as suspended sentences.
In her written decision, Traffic Commissioner Davis said of Richard Bradford: “In his capacity as transport manager, presiding over this degree of non-compliance and having personally committed the offences for which he has now been sentenced, I find on the evidence and the balance of probabilities that Richard Bradford failed effectively and continuously to manage the transport activities of the business, as required by the legislation.”
“Drivers…cannot evade their personal responsibility by stating that they bowed to pressure from or orders of others on issues related to their obligations under the regulations” – Traffic Commissioner for Wales, Victoria Davis
Concerning the employees failing to comply with drivers’ hours rules, she added: “Drivers are expected fully to acquaint themselves with the relevant legislation before undertaking employment as a professional driver. They cannot evade their personal responsibility by stating that they bowed to pressure from or orders of others on issues related to their obligations under the regulations.”
The Traffic Commissioner’s decision on this case was published on 12 January 2024, with the decision made on 14 December 2023.
The conjoined public inquiry and driver conduct hearings were held on 21 November 2023 at Pontypridd.