A period of grace is not an automatic right.

Traffic Commissioners can grant a period of grace at a public inquiry but it is at their discretion. A recent case shows how important it is to go fully prepared to a public inquiry.

A recent Upper Tribunal case involved an operator who turned up at a public inquiry without having submitted any financial information in advance or bringing any financial information with him. He asked the Traffic Commissioner for a 6 month period of grace, on the basis that there had been a mistaken sequestration order made against him. The Traffic Commissioner refused on the basis that there was nothing available at the public inquiry to show that there was any money at all behind the operator’s licence.

The Upper Tribunal upheld the decision. Granting a period of grace to show financial standing was at the Traffic Commissioner’s discretion. The Tribunal said that there must be some tangible evidence that granting a period of grace would be worthwhile. There is no point in granting a period of grace if it is merely putting off the inevitable.

The case shows how important it is to attend the public inquiry fully prepared and with all the correct documentation. The outcomes of public inquiries are too important to rely on what the Tribunal described as “mere hope and aspiration”. If you would like any assistance with preparing for a public inquiry, please contact me on 01756 790 631.

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