VOSA warns of ‘reality check ahead’ for van operators at FTA conference

VOSA has warned van operators that those not complying with regulations will be targeted by the authorities. 

Gordon Macdonald, who is VOSA’s head of enforcement policy, issued the warning during his keynote speech at the first Freight Transport Association Van Excellence Conference in Sheffield.

He said that VOSA was determined to improve van operational standards and makes no secret of its intention to significantly ramp up the number of roadside inspections and other enforcement activity. 

He also praised the Van Excellence scheme, describing it as “an extremely good example of where the industry can take responsibility for itself”, adding that accredited operators of the Van Excellence scheme were recognised by VOSA for demonstrating good practice in the industry.

He said: “Van Excellence contributes to improve road safety recognition, and is very beneficial in changing the public perception of the ‘white van man’. 

“The scheme ensures that better standards are met so that vehicles operate in a safe and viable way and therefore should be nurtured.

“VOSA needs support from the industry to ensure that our resources are best directed at the right target audience. I see Van Excellence as a very positive initiative and congratulate the FTA on the scheme.”

Van Excellence is an industry-led initiative that aims to enhance standards of van operator compliance, celebrate operators who demonstrate excellence and represent the interests of the van industry. 

The Conferences are sponsored by Industry Partners ATS Euromaster, BT Fleet, Hertz Van Rental, Route Monkey and TomTom Business Solutions who were on hand to speak with delegates at Sheffield about their role as industry partners with Van Excellence.

Mark Cartwright, FTA’s head of vans, said: "Van Excellence demonstrates that operators and proves that they are entirely capable of self-regulation.

“FTA applauds the efforts of VOSA to increase general operational standards and welcomes the words which Gordon Macdonald from VOSA has delivered enforcing the message to those van operators who need to improve their standards do so.”

The first conference was held at Sheffield, with the second in the 2013 series scheduled on Thursday May 16 in Slough and the third on Tuesday, October 29, in Dunblane. 

Key sessions during the seminars include managing road risk; reducing fuel spend; vehicle specifications; future van technology; VOSA’s view of enforcement in the world of vans; current and upcoming legislative issues; and an examination of the Van Excellence scheme through the eyes of an accredited operator.

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  • TONY BUCKTON - 04/08/2013 21:48

    VAN EXCELLENCE I write with regards to a small article I saw in the mover and have followed up on the vosa/fleet van web site but would like to know if vosa are looking for older vehicles in poor condition or to persecute any one ? I run a small removal business from home and I have done for 10 years with no bother, but it seems although I have operated every thing from a push bike to flying a 2 seater plane for 2 hours and I can drive up to 7.5 ton on my licence why do I now need to fit a tacho and have an operators licence to drive a 3 year old 3.5 metre merc van should I need to tow a trailer, come on give us a break I am a professional driver and keep my vehicle well maintained but our government and the laws are punishing the innocent man, I believe that vosa and the police should do more to target the amount of scrap men running about on red diesel un roadworthy vehicles and with out a waste carriers licence which I happen to have. Any of these caught with out the waste carriers licence should have there vehicle seized and goods be made to walk home and face a fine of up to £50,000 or years inside, so come on vosa and the police sort it out and stop punishing the hones drivers making an honest living.

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