Preliminary Hearings & Senior Team Leader Meetings
Whilst a recent phenomenon only a few years ago, Preliminary Hearings are now a strong fixture on the regulatory landscape and the numbers being held keep increasing year on year.
Preliminary Hearings are an alternative option to an operator being called to a formal Public Inquiry. Whilst not to be taken lightly, operators may be invited to attend hearings if their compliance failings are deemed easily resolvable or if the alleged matter is an isolated one-off incident in an otherwise effective management system. At the hearing, the compliance issue is discussed and if the Traffic Commissioner is satisfied that the matter has been resolved, the case is closed. If satisfactory explanations are not provided the Traffic Commissioner will invite the operator to a Public Inquiry.
Backhouse Jones is well versed in conducting Preliminary Hearings before the Traffic Commissioners. If you have recently received a letter inviting you to attend a hearing, the earlier that you contact us the better.
Senior Team Leader Meetings
Have you recently been called to a Senior Team Leader (“STL”) meeting and would like to know what is involved? Backhouse Jones has your BACK and can assist.
What is a Senior Team Leader meeting?
The Traffic Commissioners use STL meetings in order to address minor compliance issues. The meeting, held before a STL as opposed to the Traffic Commissioner, provides an opportunity for the operator to explain what has happened and discuss the rectification measures that have taken place. The STL will then report the findings accordingly to the Traffic Commissioner. Crucially, it is at this point that the Traffic Commissioner will decide whether it is appropriate to call the operator to a Public Inquiry.
If you have been invited to attend a STL meeting it is important that the information you provide at the outset is correct and that the appropriate response with supporting evidence is provided. A satisfactory outcome will result in the matter being closed otherwise the Traffic Commissioner is likely to call you to a Public Inquiry.