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What is a public inquiry?

A public inquiry is a formal hearing held in the traffic commissioners office, set out very much like a small court, the proceedings are very formal and can be very daunting. There are 3 types of PI.

  • Applications 

  • Reviews of Operating centre 

  • Disciplinary action decisions against operators 

Notice To Attend.


You will always receive notice in writing of the intention from the OTC to hold a PI you will get the following notice,

  • 28 days if its about a transport manager

  • 21 days if its about a new licence application or an existing licence 

  • 14 days if its about a new or existing passenger licence 

You will be sent a call up letter detailing what evidence the TC will use at the hearing, they will request certain information from you, this needs to be sent in no later than 7 days before the hearing.

You will be given the chance to get your own evidence together, this should also be handed in no later than 7 days prior to the hearing.

Once the date is issued it can't be changed without a very good reason, if you don't attend the hearing will be held without you present.

You have the right to be represented at the hearing by a solicitor or a transport consultant and the OTC needs to know about this in advance.


Once the traffic commissioner has listened to all the evidence they will make a decision on the outcome, the traffic commissioner has many penalties they can hand down.

  • Refuse to grant or vary a licence 

  • Attach conditions to a licence 

  • Reduce the number of vehicles an operator is allowed to operate

  • Revoke a licence 

  • Suspend a licence for a set period of time

  • Disqualify an individual or company from holding a licence 

  • Remove a transport managers good repute for a period of time or indefinitely 

If you do not agree with the traffic commissioners decision you have the right to appeal, this must be lodged within 1 month of the traffic commissioners decision.

How can we help?

We have vast experience with public inquiries and should you find yourself in the position where you are called to PI we will be on hand to represent you or just guide you through the process, before attending the hearing there is a lot of work to be done to ensure you hand in the correct evidence to help demonstrate your can run business complicitly. Please don't delay getting in touch if you have received a call in letter as the work needs to start immediately to ensure we have everything needed in the time frame the OTC sets. 

If you would like to discuss your case please get in touch via the chat option, if we are busy we will get back to you as soon as we are free or use the book online feature to book a free no obligation 30 minute consultation.

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