OTC warns operators to make use of periods of grace

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Operators who need to apply for an extension to meet financial standing tests or appoint a new transport manager are being warned their licences could be revoked if the mandatory requirements are not met when the time expires.

The Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC) has reminded O-licence holders that a period of grace can only be granted for a maximum of six months and that issues have to be remedied before the period of grace ends. In the event of the death of a transport manager, the period of grace can be extended to nine months.

A spokesperson for the OTC said: “Traffic Commissioners (TCs) are not obliged to allow a period of grace but will always carefully consider any application.

“They have to strike a balance between allowing operators a period of time to rectify the situation and ensuring there is a level playing field for operators who continue to meet the mandatory criteria.”

This reminder follows the withdrawal of an appeal by Albany Waste Services Ltd against an order to revoke the company’s licence, after it failed to comply even after being allowed a four-month period of grace to show financial standing and professional competence granted by the TC for the East of England. The Upper Tribunal refused to stay that decision pending any appeal.

The OTC spokesperson added: “This case shows there are serious consequences where operators fail to rectify the issues before any given period of grace ends.

“Operators who are given extra time need to be proactive as soon as their period of grace is granted.

“TCs will not approve periods of grace simply to put off revocation for a few more months. The extra time is granted so that operators can actively secure the future of their licence and demonstrate continuing commitment to compliance with the licensing regime.”