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West Bromwich firm director banned for two years over safety failings

By David Cosgrove | West Bromwich | News | Published:

The director of a firm which lists JLR and Aston Villa among its clients has been banned for two years over 'dangerous' safety failings.

Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands Nick Denton

Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton found Liam McGilloway, the director of West Bromwich-based Danson (Midlands) Ltd, had 'arrogantly' failed to adhere to basic rules.

This led to an employee driving an articulated vehicle without the right driving qualification and another vehicle being used despite all 10 wheel nuts on one wheel being loose, according to the regulator.

A company spokesman said the firm has lodged an appeal and is challenging the Traffic Commissioner's ruling.

In a written decision after a public inquiry, Mr Denton said: "Liam McGilloway has knowingly operated without professional competence, and the arrogant assumption that he was able to do this has brought about serious and dangerous non-compliance problems."

He concluded the civil engineering firm’s transport manager, John McGilloway – who did not attend the inquiry – was in effect an absentee, name only transport manager.

Mr Denton said: “There is no evidence John McGilloway has ever exercised any of his functions or been present at the operator.

“I find that the operator has in practice been without a qualified transport manager for a considerable period of time, since at least March 2017.”

This led to a host of serious compliance problems, identified during investigations by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

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As well as the driver licensing issue and loose wheel nuts, the Traffic Commissioner found:

*a driver had recorded numerous instances of driving for more than 4.5 hours without the required break

*the company had failed to download driver cards or vehicle units – a legal requirement which allows HGV operators to identify whether drivers are working within the law and taking proper rests and breaks

*a trailer was found to be overloaded by 16 per cent

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Addressing the loose wheel nuts at the public inquiry, Liam McGilloway said he had kept a mental record of wheels that had been removed, instead of using a register.

He had previously told DVSA a written record could be used against him by the agency.

Mr Denton described the lack of proper records as 'astonishing'.

The company’s licence will be revoked from 12.01am on January 8. A disqualification order against Liam McGilloway 'from involvement in vehicle operations' for two years will come into effect at the same time.

John McGilloway was disqualified indefinitely from acting as a transport manager on December 18 following the inquiry on December 6.

A spokesman for Danson said: "The company has already notified the Traffic Commissioner that we are lodging an appeal and challenging the Traffic Commissioner's decision."

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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