Uninsured and unlicenced HGV driver jailed for killing cyclist

An Essex operator that failed to achieve compliance even after the DVSA intervened has had its licence curtailed by three vehicles. M&A Metals, which trades as Spartan Metal Recycling out of Grays, appeared before the Eastern region traffic commissioner following a vehicle stop by the enforcement agency. A traffic examiner found that the lorry’s tachograph unit did not have a company lock in place and its data had never been downloaded.

The transport manager of the company was not contactable during further enquiries by the DVSA and none of Spartan’s three directors were available either. A report by the traffic examiner highlighted a raft of shortcomings, including no driver training, no driving licence checks, no journey planning and no system to monitor and maintain compliance with the working time directive. In evidence presented at a Cambridge public inquiry, company director Isabel Neves said it had recruited a replacement to transport manager Raymond Blackley, after she became aware he had been disqualified for three years in 2018.

Michael Kelly had been nominated and the TC said he was impressed by his knowledge and was persuaded he could exercise effective and continuous management. However, he was less impressed with an up-to-date assessment by the DVSA, which still found a long list of compliance failures at the firm. In a written decision, the TC said that although this was Spartan’s first PI, intervention was required.

He cut the licence from four HGVs to three for a month and added: “Its repute is now severely tarnished but it has been allowed to continue trading.”

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