North Warwickshire Travel Ltd’s appeal over O-licence revocation rejected

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Judith Farbey QC has rejected an appeal from North Warwickshire Travel Ltd following TC Nick Jones’ earlier decision to revoke the firm’s O-licence.

Following a public inquiry held earlier in the year, the TC reached the conclusion that the operator no longer met the requirement to be of good repute and no longer met the requirement of financial standing.

In his original decision, published on 21 March, the TC disqualified both the company and its sole Director and Transport Manager Michael James from holding or applying for an O-license for 36 months.

Michael also lost his repute as a transport manager, and was disqualified from holding or applying for any transport manager position within the EU for a period of 36 months.

He had previously been a director of Tamworth Coach & Bus Ltd, Heartlands Travel Ltd and Acorn Coach & Bus Ltd, all of which had their O-licenses revoked at a public inquiry on 16 December 2013; he also lost his good repute as a transport manager, being required to re-take a CPC exam.

In the company’s appeal, it contended that the TC had ‘failed to make adequate or proper findings of fact, and failed to weigh all the relevant evidence.’

Mark Laprell appeared for the appellants at the hearing, which was held on 12 July. During the hearing, he argued that a seven-day grace period should be allowed in order for Michael to satisfy the financial standing requirements – a request which was refused.

Judith Farbey QC, Judge of the Upper Tribunal, said in her written decision: “Nothing that we have seen or heard persuades us that the TC was wrong to refuse time to draw funds and we decline to grant time.

“Mr Laprell made short submissions on good repute but accepted that the question of repute was only material if the financial standing requirement could be met.

“As we have found that the financial standing requirement could not be met, there is no need for us to deal with repute.

“There was likewise no discrete challenge to disqualification and it was not submitted that the period of disqualification was too long.

“For these reasons, this appeal is dismissed. Should Mr James seek in the future to apply for a licence, he will need to demonstrate clearly that he can achieve financial compliance.”