Wisbech haulage company closes and all staff laid off but bosses decline invitation to speak to press
16:49 04 February 2014
A Wisbech haulage company has ceased trading. All staff was laid off as of last night.
Derek Oldfield, who described himself as a director of Heathcliff Haulage Ltd, confirmed the depot was closed but declined to offer any more information.
“We stopped trading last night,” he said. “All staff has gone. I am not interested in talking about it simply so you can spread more bad news”.
Fifteen months ago Heathcliff was given a “first and last chance” to improve its vehicle safety and ordered to reduce its fleet.
It was licensed to operate 30 vehicles after directors were summoned to a hearing before Miles Dorrington, Deputy Traffic Commissioner for the East of England.
The inquiry heard that an inspector from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) found serious flaws in the company’s procedures for keeping vehicles safe and roadworthy.
It was also revealed that one Heathcliff driver had been convicted of two offences - taking insufficient rest within a 24-hour period and making a false record of his driving duty.
Heathcliff vowed to undertake an external audit of its maintenance systems, arrange for employees to attend accredited workshops, construct a new inspection facility, implement a written defect reporting system for drivers and employ a new transport manager.
The company was based at Boleness Road, Wisbech.
It was founded 24 years ago and 17 years ago absorbed its then 16 strong fleet into Palletways, the UK’s market leader on overnight palletised freight distribution.
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