Role details

Traffic Commissioner for Scotland

Application deadline 19 April 2024


Traffic Commissioners
Sponsor department
Department for Transport
Legal, Judicial
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
42 hour(s) per week
£113862 per annum
Length of term
Application deadline
11:59pm on 19 April 2024

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    27 March 2024

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 19 April 2024

  3. Sifting date

    6 May 2024

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    17 June 2024

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


We are looking for a qualified solicitor, advocate, or barrister to fulfil the role of TC for Scotland. TCs are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport but are independent public post holders. They act both as independent regulators and in a judicial role, as single person tribunals when conducting public inquiries in relation to licence applications and disciplinary matters and demonstrate impartiality in all aspects of decision making.

Introduction from the Secretary of State

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in the post of Traffic Commissioner.

This is an important time for the Department for Transport. We are investing heavily in infrastructure and public transport to improve journeys, boost connections, level up the country and support economic growth. Central to our mission is delivering transport that works for everyone in our society.

We are recruiting for a Traffic Commissioner to be based in the Scottish Traffic Area. Traffic Commissioners are the only tribunal function sponsored by the Department for Transport and fulfil a vital role in keeping the public safe and supporting industry.

The position requires being able to engage confidently with a wide range of stakeholders, to ensure personal integrity as well as sound legal judgement and impartiality in all aspects of decision-making. Traffic Commissioners must also have regard to helping the growth of the economy.

We strongly welcome applications from all backgrounds. As part of the Department’s commitment to diversity, we believe our public appointments should be reflective of our society - the travelling public and those who rely on the supply chain, who may come from different walks of life and bring their life experiences. We welcome applications from people irrespective of their disability, ethnicity, or gender, who can bring wide experience and dynamic ideas to the role.

We are open to fresh talent, expertise, and perspectives, to help us better understand the needs of the communities we serve. This includes people who may have never applied for a public appointment – but could bring new ideas, insights, and energy. If you are interested in the role of Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, I would like to encourage you to apply.

Our dedicated DfT Public Appointments Team would be happy to talk through the process and answer your questions.

Rt Hon Mark Harper MP

Secretary of State for Transport

Introduction from the Chair

Note from the current Traffic Commissioner for Scotland, Claire Gilmore

“The role of Traffic Commissioner for Scotland is a demanding but incredibly rewarding role. It requires someone who can combine first class legal and judicial skills with a passion for delivering high quality, customer focused, services. Day to day, you will be dealing with a mix of regulatory hearings, licensing submissions and other case work. You will work closely with Commissioner colleagues on matters which affect the jurisdiction across GB and with other stakeholders in Scotland on a range of devolved transport issues. You will also attend industry events to present on the work that Traffic Commissioners undertake to protect road safety.

It is an immense privilege to serve as the regulator of such vibrant industries which are at the heart of the Scottish and GB economies. Exciting times lie ahead as Commissioners continue to support operators in meeting new technological and environmental challenges. I hope you will consider applying.”

Role description

Traffic Commissioners have responsibility in their traffic area for:

·                The licensing of the operators of goods vehicles and of buses and coaches (public service vehicles or PSVs);

·                The registration of local bus services;

·                Granting vocational licences and acting against drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and PSVs;

·                The environmental suitability of centres designated as parking locations for HGVs.

Traffic Commissioners promote:

·                The safe operation of goods vehicles and PSVs;

·                Fair competition between operators;

·                Reducing the burden on compliant operators;

·                The safe and responsible conduct of HGV and PSV drivers.

The Traffic Commissioners’ main functions can be summarised as follows:

·                To ensure that people operating goods vehicles and PSVs are reputable (fit), competent, and adequately funded;

·                To encourage all operators to adopt robust systems, so that there is fair competition and that the operation of goods and public service vehicles is safe;

·                To consider on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport the fitness of drivers or those applying for public service vehicle or heavy goods vehicle driving licences based on their conduct;

·                To consider, and where appropriate impose traffic regulation conditions to prevent danger to road users and/or reduce traffic congestion and/or pollution;

·                To ensure public inquiry proceedings are fair and free from any unjustified interference or bias;

·                To engage with stakeholders - listening to industry, meeting with local authorities, trade organisations, passenger groups and operators and presenting seminars.

The Traffic Commissioners’ role is important to both commercial vehicle operators and the wider public. Commissioners operate in an exposed and sensitive position. They must maintain the confidence of a wide range of stakeholders and ensure personal integrity as well as sound judgement and impartiality in all aspects of decision-making. Traffic Commissioners must also have regard to helping the growth of the economy through the Regulators Code and The Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) Order 2017.

Additional guidance detailing how various administrative matters shall be handled by the Traffic Commissioners can be found here.

In the performance of their duties Traffic Commissioners seek to act in accordance with the standards expected of those in public life, namely proportionality; accountability; consistency; transparency and targeting. Those values underpin their approach as modern regulators. Traffic Commissioners are subject to regular appraisals and peer review in line with the competencies identified for equivalent members of the tribunal judiciary. 


In addition to the duties of a Traffic Commissioner in England and Wales, a person appointed as Traffic Commissioner or a Deputy Traffic Commissioner for Scotland will also conduct hearings under The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 in respect of taxi fare scale appeals. The Traffic Commissioner and Deputy Traffic Commissioners for Scotland also have functions and powers under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 in relation to bus services within Scotland.

Note: If a candidate holds or acquires a financial interest in a transport undertaking which carries passengers or goods by road or rail within Great Britain it is required that they within four weeks give notice of that acquisition in writing to the Secretary of State specifying the interest you have acquired. This is required in accordance with paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.

Organisation description

Traffic Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport but are independent public post holders. They act both as independent regulators and in a judicial role, as single person tribunals when conducting public inquiries in relation to licence applications and disciplinary matters and demonstrate impartiality in all aspects of decision making.

Traffic Commissioners were historically the ‘competent authority’ fulfilling the requirements of EU Regulation 1071/2009, and undertaking the regulation of road transport undertakings, including the power to set conditions, impose sanctions and remove the authorisation to operate. They continue to hold this essential function for the UK and have important regulatory functions in relation to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Through deployment each Traffic Commissioner has a responsibility for a defined geographical area and is regionally based. There are eight traffic areas in Great Britain. Traffic Commissioners must have regard to the Statutory Guidance issued by the Senior Traffic Commissioner and act under general directions. Traffic Commissioners work together to deliver consistent and transparent national regulation, whilst maintaining localised service and knowledge. Deputies are also associated with a specific area, but as with full-time Traffic Commissioners, may hear cases in other parts of the country depending on demand. 

Traffic Commissioners are supported by a team of staff (employed by the DVSA) based regionally and in the centralised licensing team in Leeds. The team deals with the administration of the licensing systems and carries out routine licensing functions under the delegated authority of the Traffic Commissioners.

Board composition

Traffic commissioners
Richard Turfitt
Senior Traffic Commissioner, Traffic Commissioner for the east of England
Tim Blackmore OBE
Traffic Commissioner for the north east of England
Traffic Commissioner for the north west of England (temporarily vacant, covered by Senior Traffic Commissioner)
Sarah Bell
Traffic Commissioner for London and the south east
Miles Dorrington
Traffic Commissioner for the West Midlands
Kevin Rooney
Traffic Commissioner for the west of England
Claire Gilmore
Traffic Commissioner for Scotland
Victoria Davies
Traffic Commissioner for Wales

Regulation of appointment

This post is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. For more information, please refer to the Commissioner’s website 

Person specification

Essential criteria

Part One: Experience - Essential criteria:

·       Candidates should be a qualified solicitor (preferably in Scots law), advocate or barrister (candidates are not required to hold a current certificate to practice).

·       Demonstrate an ability to understand complex legal issues, to reach fair, evidence-based decisions and to communicate effectively with individuals at all levels.

·       Sound understanding or interest in the road transport sector or relevant experience in related areas.

·       Evidenced experience of working with a variety of internal and external senior stakeholders in a confident and respectful manner to deliver on a shared vision or priority.

Part Two: Key behaviours

·                Ability to grasp the principles of administrative law and to conduct legal proceedings and investigations in public.

·                Ability to make sound, open, and impartial decisions and to employ excellent problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills.

·                Able to question insightfully and provide constructive challenge to get to the heart of the matter quickly; able to put complex legal issues or proceedings into clear and concise language (both verbally and in writing).

·                Sound judgement skills; able to reach clear, reasoned, fair, impartial and evidence-based decisions.

·                Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Self-confident and politically astute.

·                Willingness to embrace change, including early adoption of new technologies and contribute to the development and modernisation of the operator licensing system.

·                Demonstrate a sound understanding of sensitivities and complexities surrounding public inquests and tribunals.

·                Commitment to continuous improvement and maintaining the quality and consistency of service standards. Able to work in a highly collegiate manner including participation at the Traffic Commissioner Board and with other public authorities.

·                A solid commitment to high ethical standards of integrity and honesty, and an understanding of the value and importance of the Seven Principles of Public Life.

Candidates’ suitability for the role will be assessed against the above criteria.

Application and selection process

How to apply

In order to apply you will need to create an account or sign in.

Once you are logged into your account, click on 'apply for this role' and follow the on-screen instructions. To apply, all candidates are required to provide:

  • a Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • a supporting statement
  • equality information
  • information relating to any outside interests or reputational issues

We will ask you to check and confirm your personal details to ensure your application is accurate.

You will also have the opportunity to make a reasonable adjustment request or apply under the disability confident scheme before you submit your application.

Overview of the application process

This role is being competed in accordance with the Governance Code (January 2017)[1], which sets out the regulatory framework for public appointments processes. The Code is based on three core principles – merit, openness, and fairness. 

The selection panel for this appointment competition will include the STC, DfT sponsors and an independent panel member. Additional panel members may be added as deemed appropriate.

Following an initial sift selected candidates who are assessed as meeting the essential criteria will be selected to undertake a written case study as well as invited to formal interview.

Interviews are expected to take place in Edinburgh/ virtually/ other location (tbc) and to last for between 45 and 60 minutes. Further details about the format will be provided to you in advance.

The decision to appoint to this role rests with the Secretary of State, and appointable candidates may be invited to meet with the Secretary of State, or another Department for Transport Minister, before they make a final decision.

Please note: Expenses incurred by candidates during the recruitment process will not be reimbursed except in exceptional circumstances and only when agreed in advance with the DfT Public Appointments Team.

You can expect the recruitment process to take approximately 3 months, however, applicants will be kept informed of progress.

Further information about appointments, including tips on applying, can be found on our guidance pages on

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

·       Richard Turfitt (Senior Traffic Commissioner)

·       Kate Warren or Rosie Snashall (Deputy Directors (job-share) Motoring Services Agency Sponsorship, DfT)

·       Bettina Sizeland (Director of Bus, Accessibility and Active Travel – Scottish Government representative & Independent Panel Member)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen by ministers to assist them in their decision-making. These include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.

Eligibility criteria

In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment.

There are a small number of specialist roles that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 

You cannot be considered for a public appointment if:

  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director  (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986);

  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;

  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement programme under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors.

When you apply, you should declare if:

  • you are, or have been, bankrupt or you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 

  • you are subject to a current police investigation.

You must inform the sponsor department if, during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 

As per paragraph 2 of Schedule 2 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, if a traffic commissioner acquires a financial interest in a transport undertaking which carries passengers or goods by road within Great Britain he shall, within four weeks after so doing, give notice of that acquisition in writing to the Secretary of State specifying the interest so acquired and the Secretary of State, after taking the matter into consideration, may if he thinks fit declare that the traffic commissioner has vacated his office.

When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying for. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below)
If you need further advice, please contact

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to have or be willing to obtain security clearance to CTC level (Counter Terrorist Check). Pre-appointment checks will also be undertaken on immigration and criminal convictions. It usually takes between 4-6 weeks to obtain the security clearance. The role will be offered on a conditional basis until the successful candidate has passed all checks. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

We encourage applications from talented individuals from all backgrounds and across the whole of the United Kingdom. Boards of public bodies are most effective when they reflect the diversity of views of the society they serve and this is an important part of the Government’s levelling up agenda.
We collect data about applicants’ characteristics and backgrounds, including information about people’s educational and professional backgrounds, so that we can make sure we are attracting a broad range of people to these roles and that our selection processes are fair for everyone. Without this information, it makes it difficult to see if our outreach is working, if the application process is having an unfair impact on certain groups and whether changes are making a positive difference.
When you submit your application, your responses are collected by the Cabinet Office and the government department(s) managing your application. The data is used to produce management information about the diversity of applicants. You can select “prefer not to say” to any question you do not wish to answer. The information you provide will not be seen by the Advisory Assessment Panel who review applications against the advertised criteria and conduct interviews.

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. The scheme helps recruit and retain disabled people. As part of implementing the scheme, we guarantee an interview for anyone with a disability whose application meets the essential criteria for the role, set out in the advert, and who has asked that their application is considered under the scheme. Indicating that you wish your application to be considered under the scheme will in no way prejudice your application. By ‘essential criteria', we mean that you must provide evidence which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as set out in the job-advert. When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Reasonable adjustments

We are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving additional detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

The Seven Principles of Public Life (also known as the Nolan Principles) apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder.
1. Selflessness
Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
2. Integrity
Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
3. Objectivity
Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
4. Accountability
Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
5. Openness
Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
6. Honesty
Holders of public office should be truthful.
7. Leadership
Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of public office are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 
  • any outside interests that you may have, such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 
which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.
You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being interviewed. If you are shortlisted for an interview, the panel will discuss any potential conflicts with you during that interview, including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information. The successful candidate(s) may be required to give up any conflicting interests and their other business and financial interests may be published in line with organisational policies. 

If a candidate holds or acquires a financial interest in a transport undertaking which carries passengers or goods by road or rail within Great Britain it is required that they within four weeks give notice of that acquisition in writing to the Secretary of State specifying the interest you have acquired. This is required in accordance with paragraph 2 of schedule 2 to the Passenger Vehicles Act 1981.

Details of declared political activity will be published when the appointment is announced, as required by the Governance Code (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder appointment, you will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers. Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or ten years in any one post. 

Remuneration, allowances and abatement


·                £113,862 per annum

·                Remuneration is taxable through payroll, and the appointment is pensionable.

·                Members can claim reimbursement for reasonable travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred at rates set centrally by the Department for Transport.

Pension and redundancy

Remuneration is taxable through payroll, and the appointment is pensionable.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

If you are not completely satisfied with the way your application is handled at any stage of the competition, please raise any complaint in the first instance with:


Via email: DfT Public Appointments

Public Appointments Team

Shareholding, Appointments and Inquiry Response

Department for Transport

Great Minster House

33 Horseferry Road



We will reply to your complaint within 20 days. 

If you remain unsatisfied, please contact the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Commissioner can only investigate complaints relating to regulated Public Appointments.

How to complain to Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA)

If you are not content with the appointing department’s response you may wish to further complain to the Commissioner at information on how the Commissioner handles complaints can be found on the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ website

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is the joint controller, with the Cabinet Office, for any personal data which you provide to us as part of your application.
Information provided as part of this application will be kept securely within DfT and destroyed within 5 years of the conclusion of the recruitment campaign.
DfT uses this form to gather evidence on DfT’s public appointments. 
The lawful basis that applies to this processing is that it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest to inform DfT’s recruitment policies in accordance with the Department’s public sector equality duties. For processing special category personal data (disability, religion, sexual orientation and ethnicity), we rely on Article 9(2)(g), reasons of substantial public interest (equality of opportunity and treatment).

Contact details

Via email: DfT Public Appointments