Transport firms guilty of “atrocious” safety breaches

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Two transport companies have had their licences curtailed for “atrocious” breaches after a wheel flew off one vehicle as it drove along the M9.

Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken imposed sanctions on Bonnybridge firms Denny Skip Hire Ltd and Denny Tipper Transport Ltd, whose representatives appeared before the industry regulator following investigations into vehicle safety standards.

During the hearing Miss Aitken was told a vehicle operated by Denny Tipper Transport Ltd had lost a wheel on January 6 this year on the M9 at Lathallan.

Investigations revealed that the vehicle didn’t have a valid MOT as it had expired on November 30, 2015 and it was issued with an immediate prohibition.

An earlier Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) investigation had also found issues with vehicle safety standards.

In a written decision issued after the public inquiry Miss Aitken said: “These fleets must contract until full compliance is achieved and that means no more prohibitions, no more failures at annual test, no more missed inspections, and meticulous record keeping to the standards indicated by the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.”

Miss Aitken concluded that John Duncan, a director of both firms, had lost sight of the fundamentals of running his business in recent years and had not been in control.

She added: “My curtailments are intended to have an impact on the operator’s business and the size of the transport operation. This transport operation has to shrink in size and become properly managed.”

The operator’s licence held by Denny Tipper Transport Ltd will be curtailed from 45 vehicles to 18 vehicles for six months, with the authorisation being restored to 22 vehicles at that time.

The licence held by Denny Tipper Transport Ltd will be curtailed from 14 vehicles to seven vehicles for six months, with the authorisation being restored to nine vehicles at that time.

Both orders come into force on Friday.