Press release

New traffic commissioners appointed

Information on the appointment of Nick Denton and Kevin Rooney as 2 new traffic commissioners.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Two new traffic commissioners have been appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening. Nick Denton and Kevin Rooney will be Traffic Commissioners for the South Eastern and Metropolitan Area Traffic Office and North Eastern Area Traffic Office respectively and will take up their new roles in the Spring.

The traffic commissioners are responsible for the regulation of bus, coach and goods vehicle operators, and registration of local bus services. Where appropriate, they can call operators or individual drivers to a Public Inquiry where concerns about service operation or driver conduct can be heard.

Nick Denton is a civil servant at the Department for Transport and currently heads the Freight Policy and Lorry Charging Division where he has most recently worked on HGV road user charging policy and the trial of longer semi-trailers.

Kevin Rooney is also a civil servant and is currently Head of Corporate Office and Head of Corporate Communications at the Department for Transport’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) where he has a long history of developing and implementing new ways of improving compliance and road safety.

The South Eastern and Metropolitan Area Traffic Office covers Greater London; the Counties of Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex; the Districts of Brighton and Hove and the Medway Towns.

The North Eastern Area Traffic Office covers the Metropolitan Boroughs within South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire; the Counties of Durham, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire; the Districts of Darlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull, Middlesbrough, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and York.

Nick Denton and Kevin Rooney will replace Philip Brown and Tom Macartney respectively, who both retired in October 2011.

Notes to editors

The traffic commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State as statutorily independent Licensing Authorities responsible for bus, coach and goods vehicle operators and for local bus service registrations. They can also take disciplinary action against the licence of bus, coach and lorry drivers who commit road and certain other offences.

Prohibition notices can be issued by the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) following an inspection and can prevent a vehicle from being driven until it is roadworthy.

Traffic commissioners have the power to revoke, suspend or curtail a company’s licence to operate buses, coaches and lorries if they are satisfied that a company is failing to ensure that its vehicles are maintained in a fit and serviceable condition when being operated on public roads. They can also take such action if they are satisfied that a company has failed to honour certain Statements of Intent made when they applied for their operator’s licence (i.e. that vehicles would be kept fit and serviceable and that the laws relating to the driving and operation of vehicles used under the licence would be observed).

Action can also be taken against PSV operators who fail to operate local bus services properly or in contravention of the registered particulars. Traffic Commissioners have the power to cancel or restrict local services an operator may run, or impose a fine if services have not been operated, or operated improperly, to a significant extent.

Nick Denton joined the Civil Service in 1985, after a short spell in teaching. In a varied career, he has worked as private secretary to the Leader of the House of Commons, drafted road safety directives on secondment to the European Commission, negotiated single market transport legislation as the UK’s transport attache at UKREP Brussels and also negotiated air traffic rights. More recently, he spent three years in Montreal as the UK’s permanent representative on the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Kevin Rooney joined the Civil Service in 1987 working initially in the Department for Transport’s Chief Mechanical Engineer’s Office before moving to VOSA in 1990. During his time in VOSA he ran VOSA’s South West Region before taking up post in 1999 as Head of Enforcement Policy where he transformed VOSA’s approach. This included the introduction of new roadside technology, the operator risk rating system and roadside financial penalties. As VOSA’s Customer Director from 2006, he was responsible for reflecting the needs of goods and passenger vehicle operators in to Agency’s development, and led VOSA’s relationships with the industry.

  • Further information on traffic commissioners

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Published 23 January 2012
Last updated 17 October 2012 + show all updates
  1. First published.