The days of a casual relationship with your nominated transport manager are long gone. Traffic Commissioners can and do take action against transport managers who are not fulfilling their statutory duties.
It is now nearly a year since Traffic Commissioners were able to make a direct finding against transport managers and a few cases have now been appealed to the Upper Tribunal. In one recent case, the Tribunal upheld a decision that the transport manager’s conduct was unprofessional. There was no formal arrangement as to how the transport manager would be paid and it appeared that he was not working the amount of hours set down in the TM1 form. It transpired that the transport manager had falsely claimed on the application form that he would only be working as transport manager for the applicant, when this was not the case. The Deputy Traffic Commissioner stated that the application form to approve the transport manager contains a declaration every bit as important as the promises made for an application for an operator’s licence. In this case that declaration had been ignored by both the operator and the transport manager.
The Deputy Traffic Commissioner emphasised that both parties should be perfectly clear as to what is expected of them. If either the operator or the transport manager is not clear, then seek qualified legal advice. Get it wrong and both of you will be facing a public inquiry, where not only the operator but also the transport manager, should expect to face probing questioning from the Traffic Commissioner.