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Trucking Industry UK

Van safety standards soar thanks to excellence scheme

The UK's HGV driver crisis is being tackled with the launch of the first 'skills bootcamp' for lorry drivers.

More than 100 businesses and local authorities are now operating their vans to the highest standards of safety, compliance and efficiency, thanks to a scheme run by Logistics UK called Van Excellence. 

Celebrating almost 12 years of the scheme’s operation, Logistics UK is pleased to announce 2021 was another successful year with a vast array of companies achieving Van Excellence recognition, including Wayfair, DHL International, Greggs, NHS Blood and Transplant. South East Water has retained its certificate for six years running.

The Van Excellence scheme provides operators with the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to safer, more efficient and sustainable van fleets by passing a series of tests. 

The scheme is sponsored by Logistics UK’s Van Gold Partners including the AA, Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease, Quartix and TVL.

The aim of the Van Excellence scheme is to deliver:

  • Reduced risks, fewer accidents, lower costs 
  • Evidence of management intent
  • Increased road safety
  • Increased productivity 
  • Evidence of accountability.

Representing logistics businesses

The organisation is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses that are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods.

Its members represent the whole industry, including those from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.

The marketing and communications director at Logistics UK, Kevin Green, said: “Logistics UK started the Van Excellence scheme in 2010 with the intention of professionalising van driving; 12 years later, we are so pleased that the scheme continues to go from strength to strength, with close to 100 certified companies now in operation.

“Whether a business or local authority is operating a fleet of thousands or small fleet of one or two, the need for compliance and safety remains the same.”

He added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors: AA, Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease, Quartix and TVL, for their incredible support. Their input over the years has been vital to the ongoing success of the scheme.”

Van Excellence scheme

The Van Excellence scheme came about because the sector has grown into a substantial part of industry and is very much under the spotlight for the public, legislators and enforcement authorities.

Changes to sentencing guidelines mean companies and individuals are culpable for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. 

The fines are dependent on turnover, and, in the case of larger companies, these could reach millions of pounds. 

Sentences imposed upon individuals are more severe and the likelihood of custodial sentences for directors is also greater.

In addition to the Van Excellence scheme, Logistics UK’s van offering includes a busy programme of events and the Vans Policy Working Group, which provides a vital mouthpiece for the industry with government, regulators and other stakeholders and a platform to communicate and debate the issues the van market is facing.

For more information on Logistics UK’s work in the vans market, and how you can get involved, visit their website.

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