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Van Excellence Code launched

19 November 2010

A new Van Excellence Code has been launched aimed at establishing a voluntary set of standards for van fleets.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA)’s code will complement the Department for Transport's Van Best Practice Programme, which helps LCV fleets to save money by improving the operational, environmental and safety performance of their vans.

The code is designed to provide mandatory and audited parameters for all aspects of van fleet operation, including driver behaviour, vehicle safety, maintenance and risk assessment methods.

Some of Britain’s largest van fleets have already put their weight behind the code, including Driving for Better Business champions BT Fleet and Royal Mail, while manufacturers such as Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Nissan have agreed to join in.

Mike Revell, group director of transport at Clancy Group, underlined the concerns of many when he highlighted the lack of defined legislation regarding health and safety.

“We have strict maintenance programmes in place for our vans but for many the only checks they have are when the vehicle has its MOT,” he says. “The code is about educating companies to increase their awareness and improve standards.”

Members of Van Excellence anticipate a number of cost benefits. In addition to better maintained vehicles and safer drivers, they expect to reduce accidents, lower their insurance premiums, reduce fuel consumption and achieve higher re-sale values.

They also point out that the code offers positive PR (the Van Excellence ‘tick’ will be displayed on the back of vans) which could lead to business wins.

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