Firm whose lorry killed six people is banned

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The Independent Online
A haulage company whose runaway lorry crashed into a shop, killing six people, was banned from the road last night.

Fewston Transport was disqualified from operating its vehicles from midnight tonight by the North-east traffic commissioner, Keith Waterworth, who revoked indefinitely its licence for 30 vehicles and six trailers.

The company, based in Skipton, was refused a 14-day stay so that it could appeal. It had applied to renew its operating licence and to enlarge its fleet at a three-day public inquiry held in Leeds last week. Mr Waterworth announced his decision yesterday, saying he took the view that the company was no longer of good repute.

Its managing director, Tony Eyres, and his former director and transport manager, Eric Preston, were disqualified from holding a goods-vehicle operating licence for one year and three years respectively.

The company's application for a fresh licence was refused. Mr Waterworth said: "Neither the passage of time since [the crash], nor the company's efforts to improve its maintenance and tachograph control systems, causes me to alter my view. The company's cavalier disregard for vehicle safety standards . . . in the past clearly outweighs any improvements in procedures made in recent months."

The firm was fined a maximum £5,000 by magistrates for operating a vehicle with defective brakes after the crash at Bolton Brow, Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, 15 months ago, in which two men, three women and a child were killed.

The firm's solicitor, Stephen Kirkbright, will today lodge an application for a stay of the decision pending an appeal.