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Transport Law Services

Public Inquiries

These are the specialist legal hearings, similar to a tribunal, where the Traffic Commissioner decides whether to take disciplinary action against a goods or passenger vehicle operators licence (including termination or suspension) or to refuse your application for a new licence.

The national annual statistics show that about 70% of public inquiries result in a licence being terminated or suspended. Our role as your solicitor is to make sure that you get through the process with your business intact which about 90% of our clients achieve.

More about Public Inquiries here.

DVSA / VOSA / Police Prosecutions

Because of the highly regulated environment you do business in, commercial vehicle operators constantly run the risk of prosecution for transport regulatory offences.

Penalties can range up to an unlimited fine and even prison depending of the type and severity of the offence. Your transport solicitor will advise on whether charges should be contested, attempt to get charges dropped when appropriate and defend you in court.

More about Prosecutions here.

Operator Licence Applications

You need to be licensed to operate goods or passenger vehicles. Licences can be difficult to obtain due to the various criteria that must be met and the strict approach to licensing by the Traffic Commissioner.

A licence is valuable commodity and advice will help you to select the right kind for your business and to make sure that you can demonstrate all the requirements needed for a successful application. 

More about Operator Licensing here.

Driver Conduct Hearings

Goods and Passenger vehicle drivers whose fitness is called into question face having their licences revoked or suspended at a hearing with the Traffic Commissioner.

A licence is valuable commodity and advice will help you to select the right kind for your business and to make sure that you can demonstrate all the requirements needed for a successful application. 

More about Driver Conduct Hearings here.

Transport Law Advice

Running a business which involved commercial transport means that you're in one of the most heavily regulated commercial sectors in the UK. 

There are numerous aspects of your operation that you many need specialist legal advice on.

More about getting Transport Law Advice here.

We offer a free telephone consultation. Call now on 0800 1777 522 


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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Latest Blogs

We were approached by an operator who had received public inquiry paper several weeks earlier. The Operator instructed us to represent him at his inquiry listed for a hearing before the Traffic Commis...
We recently represented two companies who were both called to the same public inquiry. Although separate entities, the companies were closely connected because of having the same set of directors. One...
We were approached by a small business owner to represent them at the a public inquiry which had been called to consider their application for a new passenger vehicle operator’s licence.The person app...




Latest Blogs

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Latest Transport Law

Transport Law
We were approached by an operator who had received public inquiry paper several weeks earlier. The Operator instructed us to represent him at his inquiry listed for a hearing before the Traffic Commissioner’s (TC) only two weeks in advance.

There were several serious issues that the TC indicated he wanted to examine at the hearing and was threatening regulatory action against the Operator Company. The Operator had approached another firm of solicitors, who informed him that the likely outcome of the hearing would be loss of repute and licence revocation.

We provided the Operator with advice about immediate steps to be taken in preparation for the hearing. We requested the operator send us a number of documents critical to the success of his inquiry. A consideration of those document showed significant—but not insurmountable—shortfalls in maintenance standards and legal requirements.

The operator had recently appointed a new Transport Manager (TM) with an excellent reputation in his field. The TM worked along with us in analysing the Company’s compliance systems to create better compliance systems and improve the of the Company’s mindset about such.

We prepared extensive written representations and sent these to the TC in advance of the hearing along with supporting documentation.

We recommended that both the Operator (Director) and his Transport Manager attend the hearing. As expected the TC questioned the Operator and TM extensively about the various issued raised. We guided and advised the Operator and TM throughout the hearing. Following our final submissions, the TC decided not to revoke the licence or disqualify the Operator Company. The Operator was issued with a warning and a very short suspension of one vehicle until it had a further maintenance inspection and remedial work done. The Operator was allowed to keep the rest of his fleet working with minimal disruption to the business. The Operator was thrilled with our services and has since instructed us at least one other transport matter.
Transport Law
We recently represented two companies who were both called to the same public inquiry. Although separate entities, the companies were closely connected because of having the same set of directors. One of the companies (the Operator) had years previously been issued with a restricted goods vehicle operator’s licence. The other company had recently applied for the same kind of licence (the Applicant).

Over the previous year, the directors had decided to progressively move most of the Operator’s business interests to its sister company the Applicant. Without understanding the potential consequences, and before being granted its operator’s licence, the Applicant began using the Operator’s heavy goods vehicle. The Operator company had not informed the Traffic Commissioner (TC) of its change in business arrangements and of the apparent change of entity (though the companies were actually wholly owned subsidiaries of another company – see below).

The Public Inquiry was convened because of changes at this business group and a fundamental misunderstanding of the operator’s licence regime, and that there had been what appeared to be a change of entity involving the companies.

The TC needed to be satisfied as to whether the companies were not unfit to hold an operator’s licence due to relevant activities and convictions, and about the events relating to a change in the circumstances of the licence holder. The Operator risked revocation of its licence. The Applicant was at risk of not having its licence granted.

In advance of the inquiry, and to start building their case, we obtained as much information as we could about the businesses and provided each company comprehensive legal advice. We examined the companies’ compliance systems and made recommendations about immediate and longer-term changes that needed to be implemented. On our recommendations, the companies invested time and resources into their maintenance and other systems

As a result of our preliminary work and advice, the companies were fully prepared for the public inquiry hearing. In particular, to answer questions and provide evidence about the apparent change of entity.

At the hearing we demonstrated that the companies were running professional and competent businesses. With specific reference to the issue of the apparent change of entity, the TC accepted that Section 3(4) of the Goods vehicle (licencing of operators) Act 1995 was relevant and that this was not a typical “change of entity” case – because of the companies being subsidiaries. We were able to persuade the TC that the issues that lead to the inquiry arose out of ignorance rather than an attempt to mislead or gain financial advantage

The TC granted the new licence to the Applicant with the Operator company voluntarily surrendering its licence. The directors were delighted with the outcome of the public inquiry hearing and that they managed to avoid the damaging consequences they feared.
Transport Law

We were approached by a small business owner to represent them at the a public inquiry which had been called to consider their application for a new passenger vehicle operator’s licence.

The person applying for the licence had a long background of work in the transport industry as a driver but had never before operated his own transport business. One of the key issues was that the nominated transport manager was also nominated some other licences and the Traffic Commissioner was concerned whether this meant that the transport manager would be able to properly carry out their duties on so many licences at once.