Operator in the north east of England caught fronting
An operator’s licence is not something that can be passed around and used by other entities at will. The application process and thorough checks are there for a reason.
The operator licensing regime requires trust and full transparency between traffic commissioners and operators in for the transport industry to be a fair, level playing field.
The simple definition of “fronting” is where a vehicle looks as though it is being used by the holder of an operator’s licence, when in reality it is being operated by an entity (individual, partner or company) which does not hold an operator’s licence, when it needs one to operate legally.
At a recent public inquiry in the North East of England, an operator had its licence revoked after it was established that it had allowed it to be used by another entity, ignoring the legal requirement to hold an operator’s licence.
With previous history of failing to notify the traffic commissioner of material changes on the licence, it was clear that the importance of transparency and honesty had been totally disregarded.
The inquiry heard that the operator had “severely damaged the trust” that is given when a licence is granted.
Deputy Traffic Commissioner Fiona Harrington concluded:
"The public and other operators must be able to trust operators to comply with the regulatory regime. A lack of the required honesty, integrity and transparency strikes at the very heart of the operator licensing system."