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VOSA warns of ‘reality check ahead’ for Van Operators at FTA conference

The message was clear from VOSA’s Gordon Macdonald who told van operators attending the FTA Van Excellence conference that those not complying with regulations would be targeted by the authorities. The statement was made by Mr Macdonald – VOSA Head of Enforcement Policy during his keynote speech at the first Freight Transport Association Van Excellence Conference was delivered to delegates at the inaugural event held in Sheffield.

Within his address Macdonald stated 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’. In addition he praised the Van Excellence scheme describing it as ‘an extremely good example of 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.

Gordon Macdonald added:
"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 t 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 16 May in Slough and the third on Tuesday 29 October 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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