Stornoway transport director disqualified from running trucks

Scotlands Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken.
Scotlands Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken.

The director of a Stornoway transport firm has been disqualified from operating vehicles by Scotland’s Traffic Commissioner.

Joan Aitken ruled that Murdo O’Connor and his company, Hebridean Hygiene Ltd, can not hold or apply for an operator’s licence, allowing the use of HGVs to carry goods, for nine months.

Her decision follows a public inquiry held on 26 May in Edinburgh.

In a written decision issued after the inquiry, Miss Aitken said: “There have been serious breaches of the licence undertakings which are there to protect road safety by ensuring vehicles are roadworthy at all times and that drivers are not fatigued.”

The breaches included:

Undertaking transport for other businesses when the company’s licence only allowed the transport of its own goods

Drivers’ hours offences committed by Mr O’Connor

The use of a vehicle without a valid MOT on 29 occasions

Failure to provide some vehicle maintenance records

During the inquiry, Mr O’Connor told the Traffic Commissioner his interpretation of the drivers’ hours rules had been wrong and he had not realised the importance.

He also recognised that he needed a standard national licence to undertake the work for the NHS.

Ordering the revocation of the company’s licence because it had been doing transport work for other businesses and had also breached the licence undertakings, the Traffic Commissioner also gave Mr O’Connor a severe warning on his fitness.

“But for Mr O’Connor’s insight, embarrassment and abject apologies, I would have found against fitness,” she added.