Wisbech haulier ordered to make safety improvements

A Wisbech haulage firm has been ordered to improve its vehicle safety and maintenance record.

Miles Dorrington, deputy traffic commissioner for the east of England ordered the operator's licence held by Boleness Road-based Heathcliff Haulage Ltd be cut from 34 to 30 vehicles. At a special hearing held in Cambridge on October 30, the outcome of which was published today, Mr Dorrington heard evidence that the company's lorries had not been maintained properly and an employee had committed a serious offence. It was convened to consider an investigation carried out by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).

When an examiner visited the firm in March, he found vehicles were overdue routine safety checks. A trailer operated by the company was issued with a safety critical prohibition notice in July. In August, a driver employed by the firm was convicted of taking insufficient rest and making a false record of his driving duty.

Mr Dorrington said the latter offence could have led to the termination of the company's licence, but he told director Derek Oldfield this would not be proportionate because the firm was unaware of his actions. The firm promised to audit maintenance systems, build a new workshop and implement a defect reporting system.

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