Huge turnout for second lecture of the new season.

The IRTE Northern Centre held its second of the new season of CPD lectures at the Barton Manor hotel in October. 

North West Traffic Commissioner (TC) Gerallt Evans gave the lecture to 86 members and guests, and began his address by giving the audience an insight into his background prior to taking up the post of TC, when he was employed in the legal profession for more than 30 years as a solicitor.  

Gerallt had worked as a prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), first in London, then as Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor with responsibility for all Magistrates’ Court prosecutions in Wales. The commissioner told the audience that he was a qualified rugby union match official in Wales, where he could oversee fair play on the field.

Gerallt then spoke about his time as TC since taking office in February 2020 at Golborne: a period that put many operational and financial strains on transport operators and their employees due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The audience were made aware of the pressures faced by the Office of the TC during this time, as they strived to introduce new practices. Holding Public Inquiries and driver conduct hearings on a media platform, for example, were successfully trialled and implemented, and a backlog of case work, licence applications and variations were dealt with.  

Compliance with the operator licence scheme, and the TC’s objective to keep existing operators within the system compliant, was next on the agenda. Operators entering the scheme must be aware of their obligations and responsibilities in relation to all aspects of the licence they held, Gerallt said.

Driver compliance and the mechanical condition of goods vehicles were given as examples of those responsibilities. Trailer owners involved in traction-only work operations – where a third party organisation that is possibly not a licence holder, but is the supplier of the work and the owner of the trailer – must also be aware of compliance duties, said the TC.

An informative question and answer session rounded off the TC’s presentation before Northern Centre Committee member and Society Past President Michael Sweetmore thanked Gerallt for his lecture and presented him with an IRTE plaque as a memento of his first visit to the Centre. 

In addition to the main speaker lecture, attendees were given the opportunity to view the new Renault Trucks ZE, fully electric refuse collection vehicle. Northern Centre committee member Richard Davies, a Director at JDS Trucks, had kindly taken the three axle 26-tonne all-electric bin wagon to the Centre CPD presentation to give members and guests the opportunity to observe the latest innovations in modern vehicle technology.  

Main image (L to R) Mike Sweetmore (Northern Centre Committee) North West Traffic Commissioner Gerallt Evans, Northern Centre Hon. Chairman Andrew Marshall, Chris Grime (Northern Centre Committee), Richard Davies (Northern Centre Committee). 

Second image (L to R) North West Traffic Commissioner Gerallt Evans and IRTE Northern Centre Hon. Chairman Andrew Marshall. 

Third image: The NWTC Gerallt Evans addresses the members and guests present. 

Fourth image: Richard Davies (Northern Centre Committee) pictured with the new Renault Trucks ZE.