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Saturday, 28 February 2015

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I'm being penalised for trying to grow my business, claims Cumbrian plant hire boss

The owner of a plant hire firm says he’s been penalised for trying to expand his business.

Arran Potts photo
Arran Potts

Arran Potts, 44, of Midgeholme, near Brampton, will lose his HGV licence from April 5 after illegally operating from a second base and following issues with safety checks.

Mr Potts said losing the licence would have a detrimental effect on his firm.

“We’re just a local plant hire business trying to get by in difficult times,” he said.

“We certainly don’t go out to break all the rules. We just cover a small area.”

Mr Potts set up his business, Potts’ Plant Hire, from home in 1997 but has been shifting operations to Haltwhistle for the past four years.

His firm was subject to a Traffic Commissioner hearing earlier this month because he had not obtained a licence foroperating in the north east. The commissioner said Potts Plant Hire had a licence for the north west region but that did not cover his Haltwhistle base.

The commissioner also heard how, during a visit by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in September, defective vehicles had been given prohibition notices, paperwork relating to safety inspections was found to be incomplete and drivers had not been recording their daily visual defect checks as required.

The Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England, Simon Evans, said he didn’t know why the operator hadn’t tried to resolve the position in the past five years, “particularly since the vehicle examiner’s visit”.

“The operating centre issues exposes what can only be found to be a ‘closing of its eyes’ to the reality of its position and a neglect to act with appropriate speed to rectify the position,” he said”

Mr Potts says the main problem with losing his HGV licence will be the extra fuel costs as he’ll be having to make deliveries in much smaller vehicles, requiring more trips.


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