Commercial Motor 29 Aug – 4 Sept 1996
Effective enforcement is the only way to beat the rogue element, says Clive Hampson, Managing Director of Midlands operator Hampson Haulage.
‘Why are the cowboys allowed to win hands down? Because the Government continually ducks the issues of effective enforcement by using spurious figures to meet targets and play down the problems within our industry. It uses the vehicle inspectorate to number crunch to meet objectives set by the Treasury, and does not concentrate on effective enforcement.
I question the logic of a vehicle pulled in on a roadside check. The enforcement officer is allowed a specific time to check its roadworthiness (less than on the annual test when all facilities are to hand). This leads to a skimping of the inspection which may result in a potentially serious defect being missed, and yet the driver goes on his way thinking all is well, having been subjected to a so-called full roadside inspection.
The above only highlights the utter dismay we all feel when we read your article (CM 11-17 July) relating to dole cheats. The cowboys survive while genuine, well -respected haulage companies are going under at an alarming rate.
In my area alone, both Cadwallader of Shrewsbury and CTS of Tamworth have ceased trading. When companies collapse further problems can be caused if their vehicles are bought cheaply by one-man bands who then undercut everyone else’s rates.
Congratulations to MP Gwyneth Dunwoodywho in the same issue highlighted how the freights industry is plagued by a tiny minority of operators whose flagrant disregard of the law undermines those in the industry who try to maintain standards
What we need is targeted enforcement by the VI and police; distinctive tax discs – why not square?; consignor liability on loading of vehicles; and life bans on directors/CPC holders of failed cowboy companies.
Let us look at legislation in force. How many vehicles that come under the speed limiter laws have the thing fitted, let alone working? As for enforcement, it does not exist. Again the unscrupulous operator cuts journey time to the detriment of the genuine operator.
If legislation is in place and enforcement is effective, we will substantially rid our industry of the fringe element. We can then serve industry by providing a good service at a fair price and remain in business to support our employees and their families so that they can enjoy a stable nd satisfying lifestyle.
That only happens if MPs are lobbied continually and effectively, and trade associations supported so they are able to protect the well being of most legitimate operators.’
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