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.


Boris pushes for a reduction of 14,000 deaths or serious injuries in London by 2020

A new target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020 has been set by the Mayor or London today (9 June).

Meeting the new target would mean a reduction of more than 14,000 deaths or serious injuries over the next five years.

The commitment comes as Transport for London (TfL) published the full London road casualty figures for 2014.

According to the 2014 Road Casualties and Collisions report, the number of people killed or seriously injured in London was down 7% to 2,167 (2013: 2,324), which means London has met the Mayor’s previous target of a 40% reduction in casualties six years early.

The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2014 was down 12% to 432 (2013: 489), while the number of children killed or seriously injured fell to the lowest level recorded, down 11% to 166 (2013: 187).

“These figures show quite clearly that road safety in the Capital continues to head in the right direction,” said Johnson. “However, with a growing population and more people on our roads, we’ll have to pull out all the stops to ensure that such positive trends continue. Today, we’re setting a new target to halve the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020.”

Leon Daniels, MD of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Every death and injury on our roads is one too many and we will be relentless in pursuing the Mayor’s new target. The wide ranging action that we and our partners are taking includes major safety improvements to roads, junctions and cycling infrastructure, action on dangerous lorries, tough enforcement and a programme of education and training to help people use the roads safely.”

O’Donovan conducting low-to-ground side-skirt trial on landfill tippers

Tottenham-based O’Donovan Waste Disposal is conducting a ‘how low can we go’ trial on tipper side-skirts.

MD Jacqueline O’Donovan said a side-skirt is normally fitted 550mm from ground level, however, the company is successfully operating an eight-wheel tipper with side-skirt ground clearance of only 375mm, working across a rutted landfill site.

A Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (Clocs) champion, the firm  has also invested around £5,000 per vehicle on its 85-strong fleet to fit additional safety equipment to help protect vulnerable road users, such as front-facing cameras, side sensors and alarms – displayed earlier this year at a Clocs progress event.

O’Donovan stressed it was vital to ensure drivers were fully trained in how to operate the equipment, and ensure they included it in their daily walk-around checks to flag up any concerns.

She added: “The Clocs scheme has helped set a clear objective to both the client and drivers that we operate safely. It has also lowered accident rates and lowered our insurance rates already, as well as created a safer workplace for our drivers and a safer London. It has enormously enhanced our reputation. Has given us increased business and improved our profitability.”

She added that it is now starting to level the playing field against operators not adhering to Clocs standards, as clients are increasingly specifying it on contracts.

O’Donovan Waste Disposal is also a Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) gold member and belongs to the scheme’s newly formed governance board.

  • The trial was announced during the FTA’s Managing Freight in London event earlier this week in London. A full conference report will appear in Motor Transport magazine 15 June.

Road Safety GB launches campaign to warn children of HGV blindspots

A road safety group has partnered with truck manufacturer Scania to launch an education pack aimed at school children to warn of the dangers of HGV blindspots.

Road Safety GB’s initiative – ‘Stay safe on the roads’ – is aimed at 10- and 11-year-olds and includes a tutorial for teachers, a poster explaining the danger spots around trucks and information for parents on road safety.

The pack was launched at a Clocs seminar held on the first day of the Tip-ex and Tank-ex 2015 exhibition in Harrogate last week (28 May).

Road Safety GB chair Honor Byford said the initiative came about as a result of a meeting at a previous Clocs session and she urged every operator to get involved. “We will promote it to our members and other organisations,” she said. “We also want operators to provide a vehicle to go into schools. Don’t wait to be asked – make the offer and we will provide the packs. If each of you could get it out to one school we can reach a lot of children, teachers and parents. If you want help we are here to help.”

CLOCS presentation from Tip-ex 2015 available for download now

Over 70 delegates took time out from the Tip-ex and Tank-ex shows last week in Harrogate as CLOCS took the work-related road risk message out on the road.

Members of the CLOCS team, along with representatives from Lafarge Tarmac, Cemex, FM Conway and SiG took the audience through a range of presentations covering the standards, cultural change and technology shifts which are associated with CLOCS.

In addition, Road Safety GB, in association with Scania, took the opportunity to launch a new road safety initiative for schools.

Looking out for vulnerable road users is a crucial part of the Freight in the City safety message and we’ve got hold of the presentation for your review:

CLOCS: Looking out for vulnerable road users

Freight in the City Expo promises to solve sustainable urban freight challenges

Following the success of last year’s Quiet Cities Global Summit, Motor Transport publisher Road Transport Media is holding a one-day urban logistics event aimed at all stakeholders interested in enabling quiet, clean and safe deliveries.

The one-day Freight in the City Expo will combine seminars, an exhibition and guided tours all aimed at ensuring visitors have a comprehensive understanding of the issues around urban logistics.

“There are many challenges associated with delivering goods and services in the cities, with new standards, exclusion zones and charging schemes emerging,” said Andy Salter, MD of Road Transport Media.

“For all those involved in this sector, whether as a policy maker, consignor or commercial vehicle operator, it is essential everyone is aware of the implications and future requirements for urban logistics. Freight in the City is a forum to bring all the key stakeholders together to share ideas, information and solutions.

Freight in the City Expo will take place on 27 October at Alexandra Palace, London and will be free to attend.

“Our ambition is for the Expo to become an annual event for those involved in urban logistics to share information, best practice and their solutions to the challenges of using commercial vehicles in the city,” added Salter.

For more information about the Expo and to register your interest, click here.

FTA Managing Freight in London event to tackle road safety, compliance and enforcement

Road safety, compliance and enforcement when delivering into the capital are set to be key topics tackled at the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Managing Freight in London conference next week.

The event, on Tuesday 2 June at the Kia Oval, will cover challenges facing freight operators in the next two to three years, from the development of cycle superhighways, to retrofitting safety equipment, lowering emissions and penalty charge notices.

It will also discuss the role of schemes such as the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) and the Construction Logistics Cyclist Safety scheme (Clocs).

Rob Beckers of the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit will be leading a session on HGV enforcement and infringements. He said: “At the conference, I will be briefing attendees about how our enforcement works, the most typical mistakes these operators are making as well as the extreme examples of criminal behaviour. This is part of our efforts to work with the logistics industry to raise standards and ensure all vehicles and drivers on London’s roads are being operated the way they should be.”

The session will also address the detail of the upcoming London Safer Lorry Scheme and how it will be enforced.

A Metropolitan Police Exchanging Places event will also take place the evening before the conference, whereby cyclists are able to experience an HGV driver’s view of the road.

The scheme has seen more than 18,000 cyclists take part to date, with 97% saying they will change their riding as a result and 99% offering to recommend it to a friend.

London transport commissioner Sir Peter Hendy will make the key note address at the conference. “It is impossible to underestimate the importance of freight in the capital as without it London could not function,” he said.

Hendy added: “The capital’s roads are facing new pressures, with a population set to reach
10 million by 2030 and infrastructure changes to meet resident and business demands. As we face these changes, we’re pleased to support the FTA as it works with its members and the industry to understand and address these challenges.”

Chaired by FTA chief executive David Wells, delegates will also hear from Westminster City Council; cyclist training body Bikeability, operators, customers and FTA policy experts.

The Managing Freight in London Conference, sponsored by Transport for London, takes place on Tuesday 2 June at The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11. For further information or to book a place go to http://www.fta.co.uk/events/managing_freight_in_london_conference_2015.html

Clocs takes road safety initiative to Yorkshire’s Tip-Ex Show

The Construction Logistics & Cyclist Safety scheme (Clocs) is running a seminar on Thursday 28 May at the annual Tip-Ex show in Harrogate to help visitors ensure they are doing everything possible to boost road safety in their operations.

It will incorporate presentations on setting a common industry standard for managing road safety, managing a cultural shift within an organisation and improving safety and reducing risk through design and technology, starting at 13:00 in the Queen’s Suite, Harrogate International Centre, North Yorkshire.

Clocs will also host an exhibition stand throughout the event to provide advice and information on how operators can get involved.

A bi-annual Clocs progress event held in London earlier this year revealed that the scheme was gaining momentum across the whole of the country, with plans to further increase this reach in the next 12 months.

John Hix, Clocs project director, said: “There are now 130 organisations across the UK that have pledged their commitment to the Clocs standard, with many of these champions operating nationwide.

“While the issue of collisions between large vehicles and vulnerable road users is sometimes perceived to be a London-centric one, with the number of people cycling and walking increasing steadily nationwide, this is something that, as an industry, we need to understand and address.

“However many vehicles you have or wherever you operate, Clocs can support you to reduce your road risk.”

Clocs champions are organisations and individual construction projects that have committed to implementing the scheme’s standard within their own businesses and across their supply chains. They typically include fleet operators, construction clients and developers, as well as organisations that, based on the nature of their business, cannot actively implement the standard but are committed to supporting its purpose.

The current list of Clocs champions includes several operators, such as O’Donovan Waste Disposal, Owns (Road Services) and DHL Supply Chain.


London waste firm opts for urban skip-loader with remote control technology

Waste and recycling firm Powerday has taken delivery of a Euro-6 Daf LF 250 FA skip-loader chassis specified to be a “vision of the urban vehicle of the future”.

Equipment comprises a Hyva skip-loader body operated via wireless remote control technology, a four-camera ‘live streaming’ monitoring system, and filled-in side-underrun protection; all safety features which Powerday believes may one day be a standard requirement for inner city commercial vehicles.

Harlesden-based Powerday is a gold member of the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) and a Clocs champion, and said fleet safety and compliance is a key driver for its next-generation of vehicles.

“Daf is fully committed to what we want to achieve,” said transport manager Bill Cox, “and, together with Hyva, we have brought to fruition a vehicle that is not only Euro-6 compliant, the first on our fleet, but a truck that fits our vision of the urban vehicle of the future.”

He added that the wireless remote control that operates the skip loading equipment is a breakthrough in safer loading and unloading. “It gives the driver all-round vision of the operation instead of just one view from the side of the vehicle, thus ensuring a far safer proposition for both driver and bystanders.”

Powerday’s recycling plant in Old Oak Sidings in north-west London can accommodate three 90ft barges at peak times, each carrying up to 80 tonnes of waste. Located next to Willesden junction, Powerday is able to rail-freight materials throughout the UK – equivalent to 70 truck-loads of material for a single rail-freight journey.


O’Donovan retains Fors gold status through investment in fleet safety

London operator O’Donovan Waste Disposal has achieved its Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors) gold accreditation for the fourth consecutive year.

To demonstrate its commitment to the safety of its fleet, the past 12 months has seen the company roll-out a driver behaviour system to 85 of its vehicles, invest in new trucks designed specifically to help protect vulnerable road users and launched its own Driver CPC training course for its in-house drivers and the wider waste industry.

“Being part of Fors has helped us continually improve our operations and investment in our fleet, as the information and support we receive is invaluable,” said MD Jacqueline O’Donovan. “We are extremely proud to have achieved the gold standard for the fourth year running and I believe this is a true demonstration of our commitment to improving our driver training strategy, reducing risk to vulnerable road users and focus on road safety and sustainable practices.”

She added that she has also become a member of the newly formed Fors Governance and Standards Advisory Group (GSAG), which will lead and champion the direction of the scheme to ensure the relevance of the standards and to guarantee the integrity of the scheme as it rolls out nationally.

Earlier this month, Jacqueline O’Donovan was awarded the Institute of Directors (IoD) Family Business Director of the Year Award in the London and South East category for setting a benchmark in terms of best practice across both logistics and waste operations.