Is your Transport Manager going to put you in Jail?

Is your Transport Manager going to put you in Jail? Transport managers play a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and legal operation of transport businesses. But is your transport manager truly fulfilling their responsibilities, or are they just a transport manager in name? In this blog, we will explore the requirements of a transport manager and why it’s essential for them to be more than just a title holder.

Requirements of a Transport Manager

A transport manager’s role is not just about having a fancy title; it comes with specific responsibilities. Here are some key requirements that transport managers must meet to maintain the integrity of their position:

  • Continuous and Effective Control

A transport manager must exercise continuous and effective control over the transport operations of the business. This means they need to be actively involved in overseeing the daily activities, making decisions, and ensuring compliance with regulations. It’s not enough to have the title; they must be hands-on in managing the transport operations.

  • Fulfilling Undertakings

Transport managers must work sufficient hours to fulfil the undertakings they sign up for when taking on the role. These undertakings are legal commitments to ensure the safe and compliant operation of the transport business. Being a transport manager in name only, without actively participating, can jeopardise these commitments.

  • Protecting Their Repute

A transport manager’s reputation is at stake. Statutory Guidance and Statutory Directions on Good Repute and Fitness highlight the importance of maintaining a good reputation in this role. If a transport manager fails to fulfil their duties, it can damage their reputation and lead to regulatory consequences.

  • Taking Appropriate Action

In cases where a transport manager is overridden by the operator or their agent to the extent that they no longer have the required continuous and effective responsibility, they must take action. This action should start with notifying the operator in writing about the issue. If the problem persists, the transport manager may need to consider more drastic steps, including resignation if necessary.

Personal Liability for Directors

In the United Kingdom, the Office of the Traffic Commissioner oversees the operation of trucks and buses. Directors of companies holding an operator’s license are personally liable for ensuring compliance with the license conditions. Failure to comply is not only a criminal offence but can also lead to regulatory actions such as license revocation and disqualification of individual directors.

Even if a company has designated roles within the business, with one director responsible for transport compliance, the entire board can still be held accountable for non-compliance. This underscores the seriousness of the transport manager’s role, even when filled by a director.

A Warning from the West Midlands Traffic Commissioner

Nick Denton, the West Midlands traffic commissioner, has issued a stern warning to operators against using “name-only” transport managers who do not actively carry out their duties. He emphasizes that a transport manager’s responsibilities cannot be negotiated or neglected. It is never acceptable for the transport manager named on an operator’s license to simply stop carrying out their duties.


Is your Transport Manager going to put you in Jail?

In conclusion, being a transport manager goes beyond having a title. It involves actively managing transport operations, fulfilling legal commitments, protecting one’s reputation, and taking appropriate action when necessary. It’s crucial for transport managers to be more than just a name on paper. Compliance with these requirements is not only essential for the success of the transport business but also for ensuring the safety and integrity of the entire industry. To find out how inexperienced Transport Managers can develop their technical skills to become an Advanced Transport Manager click on the link

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