A spotlight on professionalising UK van fleets

More than 3.4 million vans currently navigate the UK road network and while they can rightfully be regarded as the workhorses of our economy – standards of professionalism continue to be scrutinised.

But while critics air their concerns about the consequences of legislative regulation, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has grasped the nettle and taken it upon itself to introduce self-regulation. The Van Excellence Programme sets quality benchmark standards for running vans safely and efficiently, with independent accreditation awarded to operators that meet the criteria.

The inaugural Van Excellence Review has now been launched examining how vans underpin UK economic activity, outlining current regulations, the challenges faced in professionalising the sector and how this can be best achieved.

Key finding of the review include:

  • How a lack of regulation gives operational flexibility but that it must be combined with expertise to ensure safety and efficiency.
  • The revelation that vans are as tightly regulated as cars but that there are inconsistencies within the scope of the law which can cause confusion.
  • The claim that there’s a gap in knowledge and systems between the management of HGV fleets and that of van fleets, which has implications for vehicle MOT failures, road safety and cost control.
  • Recognition that it’s possible to optimise the performance of both service and carrying LCVs through technology such as telematics.
  • An assertion that Van Excellence’s true power will be in the advocacy and brand champion activities of accredited members – market regulation by the mantra: inspire, recommend, mandate.

So closely aligned is the FTA’s best practice framework to Webfleet’ principles and our Webfleet platform’s role as a catalyst for improved standards that we chose, from inception, to become a partner of this valued initiative.

The collaborative scheme has been a great success – in the last four years, the programme has attracted more than 80 accredited members – including more than half the UK’s top 50 van fleets, operating more than 120,000 vans.

Click here to download the Van Excellence Review 2014.

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