Haulage company directors disqualified for life

Traffic commissioner (TC) for Scotland Joan Aitken has disqualified for life the directors of a company fined £200,000 for environmental offences.

In a written decision following a public inquiry in Edinburgh in August, Aitken disqualified Gary Doonin, Thomas Doonin, Robert Forrest and their firm, Doonin Plant, from holding or obtaining an O-licence with immediate effect.

Doonin Plant – which is based in Cambuslang and Glasgow – had been found guilty in September 2012 of keeping controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health, and keeping controlled waste without a management licence.

The company was fined £200,000 at Livingston Sheriff Court for the offences under S33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Doonin Plant kept waste ranging from cardboard and carpet to clothing and electrical components at the former Woodend Colliery, in Armadale, West Lothian, on various occasions between January 2010 and February 2010.

The company failed to notify the TC’s office of the offences, as required. Action had previously been taken against the licence in 2011 as a result of environmental convictions.

A DVSA investigation also revealed that four safety critical prohibition notices had been issued to vehicles operated by the company between September 2011 and April 2012.These related to tyre and wheel defects and showed that drivers were not undertaking daily safety checks on their vehicles.

Additional prohibitions had been issued and there had been no pattern of improvement in the company’s annual test results in recent times. Previous investigations in 2011 and 2007 by the DVSA also reported issues with vehicle maintenance.

Aitken was also told that a vehicle in the company’s livery was stopped in January 2012 and found to be displaying an O-licence disc belonging to another business, in the name of Robert Forrest and Margaret Allan. The licence held by Forrest and Allan terminated in November 2011.

Aitken said: “There is a history here of analogous offending and of criminal disregard for the protection of the environment and safe handling of waste.”

She also disqualified Gary Doonin for life from acting as a transport manager for other businesses operating HGVs. In addition, the TC warned that any “proxies or puppets” using trucks and acting on behalf of Doonin would be caught by the regulatory system. A separate application made by Robert Forrest for a sole trader licence was refused by the TC.

Roger Brown (2014). Haulage company directors disqualified for life. [ONLINE] Available at: http://commercialmotor.com/latest-news/haulage-company-directors-disqualified-for-life. [Last Accessed 23rd September 2014].