The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the decision by transport minister Mike Penning to back industry-led initiatives such as the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) to reduce carbon emissions from freight, rather than heaping more regulation on operators by making eco-driver training mandatory.
Earlier in 2010, government had consulted on making fuel efficiency training a mandatory part of vocational driver training linked to the Driver CPC. In effect, every driver would have to undergo an eco-driver training module every five years. FTA had argued that to be effective, eco-driver training needs to be undertaken more frequently. Individual operators should have the flexibility to decide what training should be included within Driver CPC, and making eco-driver training compulsory would cut across more targeted approaches to fuel efficiency training in which effort is concentrated on the poorest performing drivers.
Simon Chapman, FTA’s Chief Economist said:
"This is excellent news for industry. It is a welcome recognition by government that working with the grain of industry through voluntary initiatives has the potential to deliver the cost efficiencies that industry is striving for, and the contribution to carbon dioxide emission reductions which Government is committed to. It is clear from our audits of Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme members that driver training is a well-established part of efforts to reduce fuel usage. However, each business has a different approach. Trying to regulate the duration, course content and delivery mechanism for training through Driver CPC makes no sense.
"Ahead of the introduction of Driver CPC in September 2009, FTA fought hard in Brussels to allow member states to have the flexibility to apply the new rules in a business-friendly way that genuinely added value to hgv operations through improving compliance and safety, and reducing operating costs. Business is the best judge of what training its drivers need, not government."