Institute of Transport Administration

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Recent cases show how traffic commissioners scrutinise new applications to protect compliant licence holders

What we do to make sure there’s a level playing field for good operators

Recent cases show how traffic commissioners scrutinise new applications to protect compliant licence holders

Being able to compete fairly with other operators is really important.

If there’s someone out there cutting corners or trying to hide their past to keep operating, it could impact negatively on your business.

That’s why traffic commissioners place so much importance on their role as gatekeepers. They’re responsible for deciding if new licences can be granted.

As you know, every new applicant must meet the required criteria to get a licence. This includes an assessment of their financial standing and good repute/fitness.

Two recent cases show just what some applicants will do to avoid scrutiny. Both were refused – meaning they can’t operate legally.

NDCase 1

Applicant’s history

  • Two previous licences revoked
  • Three previous companies in liquidation
  • A formal warning for operating vehicles after a company had entered liquidation

What did they do?

  • Failed to declare previous liquidations on application
  • Claimed on the application form that no licences had been revoked and no public inquiries had been attended

The Commissioner's comments

Nick Denton said the director had “a string of failed companies to his name and there is no reason to believe that next time round would be any different.”

simon_evansCase 2


  • Licence application refused
  • Licence application withdrawn

What did they do?

  • Failed to disclose the two previous licence applications
  • Denied any knowledge of the first application being refused
  • Admitted not reading the application form properly and that the director hadn’t completed it himself
  • Operated vehicles illegally despite having clear knowledge a licence was needed

The Commissioner’s comments

Simon Evans said there were no grounds to believe the director would have the necessary knowledge and skills to oversee and manage the licence.