Halifax skip firm loses licence after endangering lives

Calderdale Magistrates Court.
Calderdale Magistrates Court.

A Halifax skip firm with a “staggering indifference” to road safety has lost its licence to run HGVs after putting the lives of employees and members of the public in danger.

West Yorkshire’s Deputy Traffic Commissioner indefinitely revoked the licence held by Norman Skips Ltd, which operated from Farrar Mills Lane, and director Norman Stoker after finding it had endangered lives after four vehicles operated by the firm were found to have mechanical defects on four occasions between February and October 2013.

Examiners from Vehicle and Operator Services Agency found under-inflated tyres, an insecure load, loose wheel nuts, an insecure front shock absorber and damage to the driver’s cab step which was found to likely cause injury to others.

Deputy Traffic Commissioner Elizabeth Perrett said the case was one of the worst she had seen, in a public inquiry conclusion held in Leeds.

On two occasions, the examiners issued safety critical prohibition notices, indicating a significant failure in the operator’s vehicle maintenance procedures.

She said: “Mr Stoker had “woven a web of deceit” in his dealings with the Traffic Commissioner’s office and government inspectors.”

The Deputy Traffic Commissioner noted the company’s maintenance contract for the routine inspection of vehicles was a forgery and that no safety inspections had been carried out on vehicles, as required.

The business had also been keeping vehicles at a base in Halifax without permission, when vehicles should have returned to the authorised premises in Bradford.

“The state of the vehicle has been shown to be deplorable and a very real risk to road safety,” said Miss Perrett.

The company appeared at Calderdale Magistrates’ Court, on September 27, 2013, charged with using an overloaded vehicle, using a vehicle in a dangerous condition and failing to use a tachograph. The firm was fined £1330 for the overload offence and £1065 for the dangerous vehicle.