Applications for licences for VRT stations ‘on hold’
Requests for new licences to operate VRT garages were on hold, Transport Malta told an applicant who has filed a judicial protest against it contesting the decision.
James Zammit, owner of J. Zammit Ltd, said he was holding the transport watchdog responsible for damages his business was suffering because of its refusal to issue the necessary documents.
In his judicial protest, Mr Zammit said he had applied for a licence to operate a VRT station on June 16, 2012. But in acknowledging the receipt of the application, Transport Malta said five days later that “...currently, Transport Malta is not in a position to further process your request since all VRT station operators’ licences are currently on hold”.
Through his lawyer, Pawlu Lia, Mr Zammit, who runs Ray Auto Dealer in Żebbuġ, quoted subsidiary legislation covering the operation of VRT stations and roadworthiness regulations and claimed that Transport Malta had acted in breach of these regulations.
This subsidiary legislation stipulates that the authority has to reply to an application within seven days of receipt. Moreover, it must inform the applicant of the period within which the application shall be processed and the available means of redress if the authority chooses to refuse the application.
The regulations also state that, in the absence of a response within the set time frame, “the authorisation shall be deemed to have been granted”.
On the basis of this, on July 3, Mr Zammit wrote to Transport Malta for the official licence to be issued so he could proceed with seeking clearance from the planning authority. But, in its reply, the authority reiterated that all applications were on hold. Mr Zammit complained that the refusal to issue the relevant documentation was costing him a lot of money because, legally speaking, he had already obtained the licence.