The Operator’s Licences held by Emblings Coaches Ltd and Judds Travel Ltd have been revoked, with effect from 2359hrs on June 9, 2015. The Operator and Director of both businesses has been disqualified from holding or involvement in the management of an O-licence until they can satisfy a Traffic Commissioner to vary the Order.
Mark Raymond Judd has also lost his repute and been disqualified as a Transport Manager for failure to discharge the duty to exercise continuing and effective management of the operations.
An initial public inquiry hearing was held on September 23, 2014. Since there was evidence of a positive test history and systems, with some concerns regarding maintenance systems following S-Marked prohibitions, the operators were given the opportunity to demonstrate compliance and the inquiry was adjourned until February 20, 2015. However, there were still significant maintenance issues when the inquiry reconvened, including a reliance on road test to check brakes, missing or incomplete records and uncertainty regarding financial standing. Much of the operator’s maintenance was found to be reactive rather than preventative.
Traffic Commissioner for the East of England, Richard Turfitt, said: “If I were a parent placing a child in the care of either of these operators, where management has shown that it cannot even manage the processes for preparing a vehicle for annual test, I would have real questions about the ability to ensure that safety critical components were properly maintained.
“The position of the Transport Manager is one of great trust and is key to the management of the compliance systems. In this case even when Mr Judd was relieved of a number of responsibilities he has still proven himself unable to meet requirements even when they are spelt out for him at a Public Inquiry. I cannot reach any settled view on the reasons as to why this should be the case.
“I have concluded not only that both operations should be removed from the transport industry and have therefore lost their repute, but that Mr Judd has also lost his repute as a Transport Manager. Having exceptionally been allowed the opportunity to demonstrate that they could meet the requirements of the O-licence and having failed to do so it is difficult to contemplate how those entities might re-enter the transport industry and in particular in respect of the carriage of passengers.”