Local authority interest in Fors standards gathering momentum

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) is gaining popularity from local authorities across the UK, as work-related road risk, air quality and vulnerable road user safety head higher up their agendas.

Speaking to FreightintheCity.com, John Hix, regional director at Aecom – which operates the scheme with the CILT and Fleet Source through the Fors Community Partnership (FCP) – said support from local authorities was a key component in the expansion of Fors outside of London.

Local authorities can become involved with Fors in three different ways, said Hix.

First, those councils with their own fleets can become Fors operators themselves; second, local authorities could specify Fors requirements through their procurement contracts; and finally, those councils with planning powers could ensure Fors is implemented through planning consent arrangements and construction logistics plans before granting permission for new projects.

“For a local authority specifier, these are three things they can do as a minimum, none of which cost a great deal of money, but all will help them champion safety and help safeguard their repute. It will also help develop what we see as being the single national standard,” added Hix.

Local authorities can also benefit by looking to apply the scheme to not only HGVs and vans, which currently comprise the bulk of Fors members, but also apply it to bus, coach and taxi fleets in their areas.

Tyne and Wear are already supporting the implementation of Fors, which includes promotion and the provision of free workshop sessions to operators, said Hix, with talks also taking place with both Manchester and Liverpool authorities.

Fors is a voluntary scheme, launched in the capital by Transport for London (TfL) in 2007, that aims to help operators improve all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, economical operations and vehicle emissions.

In February this year, the FCP was awarded a five- to seven-year concession by TfL  to take the scheme national.