How much time should a transport manager spend on his work?

When completing the TM1 form, the transport manager indicates how many hours he will spend each week on his transport manager duties.  What is the position if he is unable to complete all his duties in that specified amount of time?

This was an issue that was recently raised before the Upper Tribunal.  A company had had its licence revoked and the transport manager had been disqualified indefinitely at a public inquiry following a traffic examiner’s  investigation. A driver had been found to be taking insufficient daily rest and did not hold the right type of licence for the type of vehicle which he was driving.  The transport manager appealed the decision.

At the appeal the transport manager said that on the TM1 form he had indicated that he would only work 7 hours each week and that prior to the grant of the licence at a public inquiry, the transport manager had sent in a letter stating that he was only offering to help out until another transport manager was found.   It was not possible for him to perform all those duties within 7 hours per week.  He was also of the view that the two directors of the company were “not novices” when it came to operator licensing and were aware of what was needed for the operator to be complaint.

The Upper Tribunal were of the view that the TM1 form listed various tasks which the transport manager had declared that he would perform.  Although perhaps there was a failure on the part of the authorities to pick up on the fact that 7 hours might not be sufficient for him to complete all those tasks, nevertheless he had statutory responsibilities which he had committed himself to performing.  He had not performed all those duties and so the traffic commissioner’s decision was correct.

An external transport manager, who finds that he cannot complete all the duties that he needs to complete to ensure that the operator is compliant, within the amount of time specified on the TM1 and within the contract between the operator and transport manager, must either spend whatever amount of time is needed to do the job or resign.  It is not open to the transport manager to abrogate  his responsibilities simply on the fact that he did not have enough time to complete the job.

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