Fleet News

Cash and carry firm banned from operating vehicles

A cash and carry business based in Tottenham and Peterborough has been disqualified from operating vehicles after being called to a public inquiry for the second time this year.

Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton told the directors of Fio’s Cash and Carry that he could not trust the business to get things right in the future.

He also said that if the firm did not survive, it would be because of their “lack of real action” after the first public inquiry.

The company was called before the industry regulator in April 2014, after serious maintenance and drivers’ hours problems were found with its two licences.

However, when the directors failed to keep promises made at the conclusion of that hearing – and ran vehicles illegally, Denton called a further inquiry.

At the first hearing on April 1, the Traffic Commissioner refused the business permission to run extra vehicles and curtailed both of the company’s licences, reducing each from five to two vehicles immediately.

Yet paperwork received by the Traffic Commissioner’s office revealed that four vehicles had nevertheless been operated from the Peterborough base until April 10.

During  the  second  inquiry, on September 23, Denton noted that company director Hakan Kocak had not complied with an undertaking – to attend an operator licence management course by June 30. He attended the course six weeks late, on August 13.

In addition, the operator ignored its undertaking to arrange for an independent audit of maintenance and drivers’ hours systems to be undertaken.

Vehicle and driver records revealed the fleet was in a poor condition, with numerous defects on vehicles. Drivers were also continuing to commit significant infringements. 

Denton  said  that  letters  issued by the company  to  drivers  about  the  offences  were  not a true record, as the documents had clearly been post-dated.

The Traffic Commissioner noted the business had been very fortunate to retain its licences at the April hearing and that the curtailment order should have been a wake-up call.

“This should have sent a signal to the operator that urgent improvement was needed and that the undertakings given at the inquiry should have been taken seriously.

“The company’s almost total lack of real action since the public inquiry in April, despite the very serious nature both of the shortcomings discussed at that  inquiry and the regulatory action I took at the end of it, means that it deserves to go out of business .”

Making an order to disqualify director Kocak, the Traffic Commissioner said: “I have borne in mind Mr Kocak’s personal responsibility for not taking the undertakings seriously and failing to fulfil them.

“His plea that he did not have the time because he was running his business shows that, even today, he does not understand the compliance responsibilities that come with being the director of a company holding a licence.”

Denton also disqualified Arthur Zoga, the other company director, who did not attend the hearing.

In the light of events since the April inquiry, he had no confidence in Zoga’s ability to manage a compliant operation and concluded he had little interest in the transport side of the business.

Both directors will be disqualified for six months from October 23. The company’s two licences will be revoked on the same date.

 


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