Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry

Representation at Traffic Commissioner’s Public Inquiry

We represent goods and PSV operators at Public Inquiry hearings before the Traffic Commissioner. We understand how damaging a Public Inquiry can be to your business, your reputation and your peace of mind. Our transport solicitors specialise in this niche area of regulatory law. We will help you to prepare your case, address any regulatory failings in advance, and represent you at your Inquiry hearing.

We provide a truly nationwide service, appearing on a daily basis to represent operators at Traffic Commissioner Inquiries across the UK, including:

  • Leeds
  • Golborne (Warrington)
  • Edgbaston (Birmingham)
  • Cambridge
  • Bristol
  • Eastbourne
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh

We offer free initial consultations and fixed fees. Speak to a transport lawyer today on 0115 9106218 for a confidential consultation, or email


Reasons for a Public Inquiry

There are many reasons a transport business may be called to Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • Maintenance and roadworthiness failings, including S-marked PG9s
  • Drivers hours and tachograph infringements
  • Loss of good repute and criminal convictions
  • Environmental objections against your operating centre
  • Lack of financial standing
  • Undeclared material changes to the business
  • Unauthorised changes to your operating centre or maintenance provider
  • A Transport Manager failing to exercise continuous and effective control

A hearing with the Traffic Commissioner will usually follow on from a DVSA roadside stop or compliance investigation. Usually this will involve an inspection of your operating centre, fleet and records, and an interview under caution with a company director.


Public Inquiries for new operator licence applications

If you have recently applied for a new operator’s licence the Traffic Commissioner can call you to a Public Inquiry hearing. This usually happens when there are concerns surrounding your good repute or any of the information you declared in your application. For restricted PSV licence applications, an Inquiry will often be held to decide whether the main occupation requirement is met.


Possible outcomes

The Traffic Commissioner has wide-ranging powers to regulate operator licences. The Commissioner can:

  • Revoke an existing operator’s licence
  • Suspend a licence for a period of time
  • Impose a curtailment, thereby reducing the number of vehicles that can be operated
  • Impose additional conditions or undertakings

The Traffic Commissioner can also refuse an application for a new licence, or grant it subject to strict conditions.

Perhaps most seriously, the Commissioner has the power to disqualify individuals from holding an operator’s licence in the future, or acting as a Transport Manager.


How our Public Inquiry team can help

In most cases, immediate and effective action at an early stage can dramatically improve your chances of a successful outcome at Inquiry.

Once instructed our Public Inquiry solicitors act quickly. We will:

  • Review all the evidence and allegations and give tailored, specialist advice
  • Liaise with the DVSA and Office of the Traffic Commissioner and submit written representations if appropriate
  • Work with you to repair any compliance failings identified
  • Advise on any additional information and documentation that should be sought
  • Represent at the Public Inquiry, presenting the evidence and making legal submissions

At Rothera Sharp we understand how stressful court proceedings of this kind are. Even a positive outcome at Inquiry can still result in considerable reputational damage. We leave no stone unturned to fight for the best outcome possible for our clients.


Our clients

Our Public Inquiry lawyers have decades of experience representing operators from across the transport industry. We assist standard national, standard international and restricted O licence holders, including:

Goods vehicle (HGV) operator licence holders

  • General haulage companies
  • Multinational freight and logistic firms
  • Owner operators
  • Scaffolders, plant and construction businesses
  • Waste management and tipper companies
  • Deliveries and removals businesses
  • Courier services and franchisees

Passenger transport (PSV) operator licence holders

  • Bus and coach companies
  • Minibus operators
  • Tour operators
  • Registered bus service providers
  • S19 and s22 permit holders

In addition to Public Inquiries, we also represent operators at Preliminary Hearings and Senior Team Leader Interviews.

For a free initial consultation with one of our transport solicitors. call 0115 9106218 or email

Our other specialisms include: