Fors must be cultural, not just a ‘badge’, warns transport lawyer

Operators with Fors accreditation must not use the brand as a badge of honour to win them business, a transport lawyer has said.

Addressing delegates at the Freight in the City Expo at Alexandra Palace, Jonathon Backhouse, partner at Backhouse Jones, said Fors had to be part of a company’s culture.

“Is Fors a badge, or a culture?” he asked. “Because if it’s a badge, a tick box exercise, something that you want to say you’ve got so you can win contracts, then you’re not taking Fors seriously. It’s got to be cultural. Only then will it be effective.”

Backhouse also warned delegates to be aware of their operating environments, and the effects that growing residential areas around a haulage business could have.

He said: “If you’re in an industrial estate and housing has closed in around you, you will, if you haven’t already, begin to be impacted by the opinions of those residents.

“Every five years your O-licence is up for review, and at that review you will be expected to demonstrate you are operating in an environmentally sound way. They have the right to object and the traffic commissioner can put conditions on your licence on your operating hours, even if you have been operating at the site for years.

“So be aware of this, and be aware of your environment.”