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Transport Law & Licensing

Beltrami and Co Solicitors' Gary McAteer is one of a few select expert lawyers in Scotland who has been regularly instructed to appear on behalf of bus operators in this niche and complex area of the law.

Gary McAteer, a Solicitor-Advocate, with some 30 years of experience representing clients interests in both the civil and criminal courts possesses an acute knowledge and understanding of the industry. He has extensive experience of the Public Inquiry forum where cases are heard and is regarded as a ‘powerful advocate’ fighting the corner of bus operators across the length and breadth of Scotland.

In Scotland the transport licensing regime is regulated by the Traffic Commissioner, who is appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport. The current Traffic Commissioner, Joan Aitken has the power to call operators to Inquiry and has a wide range of regulatory powers, ranging from the power to grant licence application, increase the vehicle authority of an operator or in some cases, to revoke an operator’s licence, and to disqualify the licence holder from holding a PSV or other licence.

Operators who will be the subject of a Public Inquiry are sent a ‘call up letter’ by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner to attend at Inquiry. This letter sets out the points the Commissioner will consider at the Inquiry and the grounds on which any regulatory action will be taken.

The principal piece of legislation which governs this area of the law is The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981. The provisions of this Act have been enhanced and extended by both further domestic legislation and increasingly from European Directives and Regulations, such as the EC Regulation 1073/2009 and the Public Service Vehicles (Community Licences) Regulations 2011 to name a few.  Put simply; the transport licensing regime has become an increasingly complex and technical area of the law, which requires expert legal knowledge to navigate successfully.

The Traffic Commissioner in deciding whether to take any regulatory action against an operator will have regard to three main tests, which any operator must achieve to retain or expand the vehicle authority of his or her licence, and also importantly whether to revoke an operator’s licence.

  • That the holder of the licence be of ‘good repute’
  • That the holder of the licence be ‘professionally competent’
  • That holder of the Licence has ‘appropriate financial standing.’
  • Licence undertakings 
  • Regulatory and disciplinary actions

Failure for an operator to meet any one of these conditions may result in adverse regulatory action being taken by the Traffic Commissioner, and could lead to the revocation of the licence holder’s licence.  Public Inquiries are formal legal proceedings within the Civil law jurisdiction, where legal representation is highly desirable.

Transport & Licensing Solicitors Glasgow, Scotland

Beltrami and Co Solicitor’s Gary McAteer has helped many operators across Scotland navigate the difficult terrain of the transport licensing regime and to avoid adverse action being taken against their licence.  Beltrami and Co Solicitor’s has for over ten years represented many small and medium sized  independent operators in Scotland and understands the devastating impact an adverse finding can have on an operator’s business and livelihood.

There are a number of reported cases on important legal issues which have been dealt with by the firm.

Beltrami and Co Solicitors can help you - contact us here today.

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