As an Operator, a Public Inquiry that goes the wrong way can have a disastrous effect on both your business and reputation going forward. To be certain the Traffic Commissioner rules in your favour, you need to seek professional legal advice from an experienced and independent haulage solicitor.
With an extensive track record gained from representing both businesses and individual clients, Simpson Millar has the expertise to ensure you receive the fairest hearing.
Offer informed legal advice and provide robust representation when you attend the Public Inquiry
Use our exhaustive knowledge of road transport law to mount a persuasive case in your favour
Tailor our services to the specific needs and details of your case
Work tirelessly to ensure you are granted or allowed to keep your Operator's Licence.
Public inquiries are not to be taken lightly and, if not sufficiently prepared for, can be stressful experiences that prove costly to your livelihood.
What Is A Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry?
The Traffic Commissioner is responsible for granting operating licences for both Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and Public Service Vehicles (PSVs). Without a valid licence you are unable to operate any business which involves commercial vehicles, such as haulage, skip hire, waste disposal, minibus or coach companies, whether as an organisation or as an individual.
It is an offence to do so and carries a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Public Inquiries are special court hearings held by the Traffic Commissioner to gather evidence when determining whether an Operator's Licence should be granted or refused, or deciding whether an existing licence should be revoked.
Why Do I Have To Attend A Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry?
You will have been notified by letter if you are required to attend a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry.
Reasons for this may include:
- You have applied for an Operator's Licence and an objection has been made to your application
- Misconduct, such as driving while using a mobile phone, has been alleged
- You are accused of breaching the conditions of your Operator's Licence
- An environmental concern has been raised with regards to a new or variation upon an existing application.
You will be given a period of notice to attend a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry, which will vary depending upon the nature of the hearing. A minimum of 28 days will be given where transport managers are concerned; 21 days for new or existing Operator Licence inquiries; and 14 days for inquiries focussed on new or existing PSV operator's licences.
Why Do I Need Legal Representation At A Public Inquiry?
When a Public Enquiry has been called, it is the duty of the Traffic Commissioner to consider all the evidence they are presented with before reaching their decision. This underlines the importance of proper legal representation to ensure the most compelling case is made on your behalf and the ruling goes in your favour.
Failure to seek effective legal advice from an independent law firm, such as Simpson Millar, with a dedicated Haulage and Road Transport Law department, can leave you ill-equipped to handle the daunting and often complex proceedings of a Public Inquiry.
What Powers Does The Traffic Commissioner Have?
If the decision goes against you, the Traffic Commissioner has the power to:
- Refuse your application for an Operator's Licence
- Refuse to grant a variation on your existing Operator's Licence
- Revoke your licence
- Suspend your licence
- Reduce the number of vehicles you are allowed to operate
- Disqualify you as a transport manager or company director and disqualify individuals or companies from holding an Operator's Licence
- Impose financial penalties if you are a bus service operator
- Remove any professional competency or similar accreditations if you or your company has achieved them.
Any one of these decisions can have a negative effect on your business and reputation.
What Do I Do If I Am Called To Attend A Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry?
If it is alleged you have failed to comply with the terms of your Operator's Licence, your conduct has been brought into question, or an objection has been made against an application for a new or variation on existing licence, you should seek immediate legal advice.
Your livelihood could be at risk if you do not.
Contacting Simpson Millar sooner rather than later can mean the difference between acceptance and refusal, a warning or punitive action.
Why Choose Simpson Millar For Public Inquiry Legal Advice?
With an extensive knowledge of road transport law and a successful track record in providing legal advice and representation to all businesses and road users, Simpson Millar can help to ensure neither your Operator's Licence nor business are compromised by a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry.
We will take the time to learn the dynamics of your business, its processes and your goals, allowing us to provide a service tailored to your actual need. We will then work with diligence, using our expertise in road transport and haulage law to provide you with the strongest case to take before the Transport Commissioner at Public Inquiry.
What Do I Do Next?
If your Operator's Licence or business is at risk because of an impending Public Inquiry, or your application for a licence may be refused, contact one of our Haulage and Road Transport solicitors today.
Complete our no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or Freephone 0808 129 3320. For out of hours advice including weekends Freephone 0808 129 3310.