The application was made on the 11 May 2021 but due to an appeal to the Upper Tribunal on a related case, and a further appeal, it is only now that the decision can be made public.
The commissioner found a complex and troubling history to the case, including two previous revoked licences and the applicant, Anthony Hazell having lost his good repute twice as a transport manager.
At previous public inquiries, Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones found, in his written decision dated 19 December 2019, the applicant “… is a danger to the PSV industry as he is so grossly incompetent. It is deeply worrying that he is both a director and he is a transport manager for other entities. I am unable to make any order in relation to his position as a transport manager or make any finding under section 28 of the Transport Act 1985 as no notice was served on him that these were considerations. Nevertheless, it is clear to me that he should retire from the industry at the first opportunity.” In her written decision of 5 June 2014, Traffic Commissioner Sarah Bell expressed “grave doubts as to Mr Tony [Anthony] Hazell’s judgement and integrity”. She found him “wanting to such an unacceptable degree, even after copious amounts of advice and support from DVSA, a warning from me and help from the commercial sector”. Anthony Hazell was “not capable or competent to operate the necessary systems to ensure vehicles remain roadworthy when in service and in a lawful manner”.
Doubts were shown around the applicant’s ability to learn lessons and improve. One of Carmel’s vehicles was involved in a fatal incident in May 2014 when two passengers were killed and seven injured. The driver was subsequently convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving and sentenced to five and two years respectively in prison (to run concurrently). A major contributory factor was said by the police to have been a number of hands-free mobile phone calls the driver made during the journey, one of which had lasted for eight minutes at the time of the crash. The new company’s proposed mobile phone policy did not prohibit such use until pointed out by the commissioner.
The Mr. Denton said “I consider that, Carmel Coaches Ltd and Anthony Hazell having failed so catastrophically to run a compliant operation in the past, and with Mr Hazell having now lost his good repute as a transport manager and been disqualified twice, the onus is heavily on the applicant to convince me that it deserves a third opportunity. I am unable to conclude he does.”