Representation at a Public Inquiry

According to the leading directory of law firms, The Legal 500:  “This firm has a long association with agencies and Traffic Commissioners.  Clients say it provides a “spot-on and reliable” service.  Public Inquiries and Magistrates’ Court work are its forte”.

The prospect of appearing at a Public Inquiry before a Traffic Commissioner is a daunting one.  Rothera Sharp regularly provide legal representation at Operator Licensing Public Inquiries before Traffic Commissioners, most frequently appearing at Leeds, Cambridge, Golborne, Edgbaston and Bristol.

If you have been requested, or are likely to be required to attend an Operator Licensing Public Inquiry, our Solicitors are available to advise upon the call up letter and ensure you are fully prepared for the hearing.  We can provide detailed written representations to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner and assist with disclosure of evidence of financial standing etc., in advance of the Public Inquiry.

At the Public Inquiry, we can deal with opening and closing representations and provide professional advocacy addressing the Traffic Commissioner on your behalf in connection with matters of concern that have been raised in the ‘call up’ letter.

Before the Public Inquiry, we can check your maintenance systems, driver defect reporting, safety inspections etc., and advise on any improvements.  We can also advise on monitoring and auditing systems as well as training of drivers and/or staff, where appropriate.

The Traffic Commissioner may call a Public Inquiry when deciding on granting an Operator’s Licence or varying the terms of an existing licence.  The Traffic Commissioner has the authority to grant or refuse an application or add conditions/restrictions to an application.

Generally, Public Inquiries are called in order for the Traffic Commissioner to consider whether to take disciplinary action against a licence.  Traffic Commissioners can decide to revoke, suspend or curtail an Operator’s Licence as well as add or vary any conditions.  In certain circumstances, a Traffic Commissioner can also decide to disqualify an Individual from being a Director of a Company that holds a licence.  Where it is a new licence application, the Traffic Commissioner may choose to grant the application in full or in part and may also choose to add conditions to the licence in the form of undertakings.

If a Transport Manager is also called to attend the Public Inquiry in order for the Traffic Commissioner to determine whether he continues to be of good repute and professionally competent, we can assist the Transport Manager as well as the Operator.

In some circumstances, a Public Inquiry may also be called in response to an objection to an Operating Centre or if you are seeking to increase the number of vehicles authorised on your licence and there are local objectors and representers wishing to have their say.

Our Road Transport Law Solicitors can ensure that you are fully prepared for any Public Inquiry and are happy to guide you through the process from start to finish.

Further Guidance – Representation at a Public Inquiry

For further information, we also operate a dedicated Road Transport Law website with detailed advice for transport operators attending a Public Inquiry  – visit

For expert advice and legal representation at an Operator Licensing Public Inquiry, contact our Specialist Road Transport Law Team on Freephone  0800 088 6280 or email