Five transport firms operated by an animal by-products processing group have been stripped of their operating licences following a public inquiry into their failures to comply with haulage regulations.
And Senior Traffic Commiss-ioner, Beverley Bell, has warned the Leo Group – which runs the Omega Proteins plant at Denholme – it has one last chance to meet its obligations as she granted it an interim licence for a new haulage business to run its operations.
Fleets of wagons and trailers previously run by Envirowaste Services Ltd, Leo Sawrij Ltd, Omega Proteins Ltd, Robinson Mitchell Ltd and Alba Proteins Ltd will all have their operator licences revoked from April 30 this year.
All wagons and employees will then continue operating for Haulage Holdings Organisation Ltd, trading as The Leo Group, which will initially be licensed for six months while checks are made about compliance.
Announcing her decision, Mrs Bell said: “Operator licensing is based on trust, and I am trusting the new entity to go forward.”
And addressing the sole shareholder of the Haulage Holdings Organisation, Danny Sawrij, she said: “Mr Sawrij, you are the only shareholder of this company and I expect the company to comply with its obligations. If the company does comply with its obligations, it will have absolutely nothing to fear from me.
“If it does not, it will incur my full wrath. I know, Mr Sawrij, that the last thing you want to do is incur my wrath.
“I am not making any findings from the papers that I have read about what sort of individual you are, but what I can say is that I have decided, even though you are the shareholder, that I will give this company an opportunity to get it right, but it will only be one opportunity.”
Mrs Bell also stipulated Mr Sawrij, Joanne Sawrij, Sonia Dean, Manjit Singh and Michael Sheehan will have no control whatsoever in the day-to-day management or running of Haulage Holdings Organisation Ltd, and demanded personal undertakings to that effect.
She also stipulated independent tachograph analysis of all its vehicles should be carried out for a full year prior to a review.
“I shall initially grant an interim licence for 74 vehicles and 71 trailers for a period of six months,” Mrs Bell said.
In response, a spokesman for Leo Group said: “We did not contest this matter and we are pleased with the support offered by the Traffic Commissioner.
“All vehicles will pass to the new Haulage Holding company. No jobs will be at risk because of the new licences that have been granted to a group company.
“The haulage company has its own dedicated directors, management team and support staff. Danny Sawrij is not involved in any of the day-to-day operational activities of those other companies, of which he is not a director.”