A new contract has been signed by Transport for London (TfL) for Sopra Steria to run the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).
The new contract will begin in January 2022 and will last for five years, with Sopra Steria taking over from the current administrators AECOM.
Christina Calderato, director of transport strategy and policy at TfL, said: “Improving safety on the capital’s roads is key to our Vision Zero goal to eliminate deaths and serious injury on the roads and FORS has played an important role in driving up standards in the freight and fleet industry.
“We’re pleased that Sopra Steria has signed a new contract with us to take over FORS, which will allow us to improve the scheme and continue our important work with freight operators to improve the safety and emissions of their vehicles.
“We’d also like to thank AECOM for their commitment to FORS over the years and for the role they’ve played in making the scheme a success.”
The contract was awarded to Sopra Steria following a competitive tender process, with bidders evaluated on their ability to build on the success of the scheme.
As part of the new contract, Sopra Steria will overhaul the scheme’s website and booking systems, making it easier for members to access information and update their details, while creating a more user friendly and accessible sign-up process.
Adrian Fieldhouse, managing director for the government sector at Sopra Steria, said: “Road safety has long been a focus in the UK and we’re delighted to be working alongside TfL to not only help optimise mobility across the transport sector, but to help create both safer and greener roads.
"The FORS scheme allows freight operators to reach vital industry standards more easily, and by providing an improved digital experience we hope to boost the FORS scheme, helping to make a real societal impact.”
FORS, which was created by TfL in 2008, is an accreditation scheme recognising freight and fleet safety and environmental standards.
The voluntary scheme audits fleet operators and awards bronze, silver and gold accreditations by asking them to demonstrate exceptional levels of best practice in safety and efficiency.
It commits fleet operators to achieve high vehicle and driving standards relating to road safety, and environmental performance.
Encouraging fleet operators to take part in the FORS scheme is an important part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate death and serious injury on the transport network and its commitment for London to become a zero-carbon city by 2030.
The TfL internal fleet are accredited to varying levels of FORS membership to maintain the highest levels of operational compliance.
The scheme currently has around 5,000 accredited operators with approximately 110,000 vehicles across 17 countries and is regarded as international best practice. Initially run as a scheme for fleets operating in the capital, the scheme was expanded nationwide to ensure that people across the UK could benefit from higher vehicle, safety and environmental standards.
FORS provides a continuous system of performance improvement, through the accreditation levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold, providing reductions in incidents and collisions, along with the provision of member benefits, such as savings on insurance premiums, free and funded manager training.
TfL and other organisations in London and nationally require FORS standards in contracts to improve safety.