Call us for free on 0800 1777 522
Public Inquiries

Goods Vehicle and Passenger Vehicle Public Inquiries

If you’ve had a call to public inquiry, then it’s a serious matter. There are few other situations where you could literally find yourself put out of business at a stroke of a pen. 

If you’ve recently received a call to public inquiry then we can answer all your questions and discuss whether we can represent you at the hearing itself. We’ll be very glad to give you feedback and tell you how we can help. Where we can help you, we’ll assess your case and propose an action plan. This is all absolutely free of charge and without obligation so please pick up the phone and get in touch.

About 90% of our clients remain on the road following their public inquiry and so we believe we’re a very good first point of contract when you’re considering what to do. We’ve handled hundreds of public inquiries over the last few years and achieved a lot of good outcomes for our clients, often in very challenging cases.  While nationally each year about 30% of public inquiries result in termination of the licence and in total about 70% result in serious disciplinary action, our clients enjoy a success rate of more than 90%.   

What is a public inquiry?

This is a formal legal hearing, similar to a court or tribunal held by the Traffic Commissioner. The seven Traffic Commissioners of Great Britain are the regulators of the road transport industry. In a public inquiry the Traffic Commissioner acts in a “quasi-judicial” capacity. This means they act like a judge, having to weigh up evidence and law and make decisions in the public interest.

At a public inquiry the Traffic Commissioner decides whether to revoke or suspend an operators licence; attach conditions; disqualify people from operator licensing and whether to grant or refuse new licences.  You can find much more about the detail of the process of public inquiries and what normally happens on other pages on our website.  And if you have any questions or want to discuss anything further then you should feel free to call us anytime.  

Less than 1% of operator licence holders are called up to public inquriy each year.  This means that the vast majority of licence holders never face the inside of a public inquiry room.  This statistic underlines that if you've been called to a public inquriy it means that the Traffic Commissioner considers yours to be a potentially serious case.  

We can help you wherever you are based

We represent clients in all parts of the United Kingdom. Wherever you are based in the United Kingdom, we can help you and represent you at your public inquiry. You can find out more about where we regularly represent our clients here. 

We advise and represent goods vehicle and passenger vehicle operators regularly in all of the following: 

  • Belfast Public Inquiries, Northern Ireland 

Why is a public inquiry so serious?

The Traffic Commissioners’ powers are very potent. The bare statistics are that each year nationally about 70% of public inquiries result in an operators licence being revoked, suspended, curtailed or subject to conditions. Over one third of licences are terminated at public inquiry and only about 5% result in no action being taken.  So on the statistics, 95% of public inquiries result in some disciplinary action ranging from termination of the operators licence; disqualification of owners and directors; suspension or curtailment of the licence; conditions added and in some cases formal written warning.

The bare statistics speak for themselves.  any public inquiry is a very serious matteer for any goods or passenger vehicle operator.  Roughly about 1% of all operators face a public inquiry each year and a significant number of those are either put out of business completely or they find their business significantly affected.  

If you find yourself one of the unlucky 1% then swift action is crucial. You should take legal advice at the earliest opportunity and start working through a plan on how to deal with the issues you’re under scrutiny for.

Difference between Goods Vehicle Public Inquires and Passenger Vehicle Public Inquiries

The public inquiry procedure is more or less the same for both goods and passenger vehicle operators. Most of the laws, rules and regulations are either identical or very similar for both types of operators. The basic standards of maintenance and “good repute” are the same for all operators as are the financial standing requirements.

However, there are some legal differences and of course a goods vehicle is a different animal to a passenger vehicle. Goods vehicle operators outnumber passenger vehicle operators by about ten to one, so there are generally far more goods vehicle public inquiries than one’s involving passenger operators for that reason. 

What you can expect from us

The first thing we do is speak to you free of charge and without any obligation. We’ll listen to you, look at your papers if you send us them and give you feedback on what we think. We’ll be happy to provide a written proposal for working on your behalf at a fixed price fee.

We then work through a plan of action which we do thoroughly and diligently. Every case is a challenge to us and we always want to be successful. 

The exact approach depends entirely on your case. Typically we would meet at your premises, gather extensive documentation from you and carry out an in-depth analysis of your systems and compliance arrangements. We could then make recommendations on how to improve things before the public inquiry hearing. It could be that we prepare compliance documents for you or put you or advice steps for you to take. 

Preparation for the hearing depends again on the exact circumstances of your case. Typically we would prepare a ring binder of documentary evidence to give to the Traffic Commissioner in advance of the hearing. We’ll prepare a case plan and things like closing speeches and cross examination plans for the hearing itself. The hearing itself is where the plan and preparation bears fruit. We will of course do everything we can to get you through the hearing with the outcome you require. 

The cost of legal representation at a public inquiry

Its likely that the cost of having us prepare for and represent you at your public inquiry is less than you think. 

Every public inquiry is very different and so we’ll need to discuss the issues, work our what work is involved in the preparation for and presenting your case. On the basis of that we’ll work out a costing for you. We’ll usually give you the option of either paying by an hourly rate or a fixed price fee. Most of our clients opt for the fixed price fee as it means they know from the very start what the total cost will be.

When we’ve worked out a quote we’ll send you a written proposal setting out what work we’ll do for you, our action plan and of course a fixed price fee. Its then entirely down to you whether you want to accept our proposal and get us on board working on your behalf.

For clients with tight cash flow we can set up an instalment plan where you pay for our services through a monthly instalment plan. Ask us for more information on this if its of interest.

What to do if you need help with a public inquiry

The best way to find out if we can help you and if you’d like us to work for you is to pick up the phone and call us. We’ll be happy to speak to you, listen to your problem and give you some feedback on how we might be able to help.

We specialise in transport public inquiries and regularly appear at public inquiry hearing throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  This gives us a large breadth of expertise and experience that we have no doubt will dramatically enhance your chance of getting the result you want from your public inquiry.   

Contact Us About A Public Inquiry 

Please get in touch with us without charge or obligation.

Contact us today and we'll give you an idea about how we might be able to help you. We will be very glad to talk through your situation and review your papers free of charge to help you to make an informed decision about what to do.

You can call us any time on 0800 1777 522 or alternatively you can make a Free Online Enquiry or email us.  

Call us for free on 0800 1777 522

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We advise and represent transport businesses throughout the whole of the UK in all parts of England, Scotland, Wales and N.Ireland


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Call us today for free on 0800 1777 522
Send us an enquiry online via our contact form HERE
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Call us today for free on 0800 1777 522
Send us an enquiry online via our contact form HERE
Email us on