FORS scheme increasingly affecting LCV fleets, reports GE Van Lease

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Light commercial vehicle fleets are increasingly being affected by Transport for London's Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), reports GE Capital's Van Lease division.

The initiative was initially launched only for heavy freight vehicles operating on construction sites in London but is starting to affect other sectors, smaller vehicles and a larger area.

Simon Cook, UK Fleet LCV Leader at GE Van Lease, said: "A number of our customers have recently approached us to help them ensure that their LCV fleets meet the FORS requirements. They are finding that it is becoming a prerequisite to bid for construction and other projects happening in London.

"Originally, Transport for London (TfL) only applied FORS to HGVs but it has gradually cascaded down to vans over the last couple of years. Operators that do not comply are starting to find themselves isolated when it comes to bidding for work and so want to make sure that they meet all the necessary targets."

Simon explained that FORS added a series of measures designed to reduce accidents, minimise environmental disruption and increase overall efficiency.

He said: "The scheme builds on the basic approach that you see in an 'O licence' and adds a whole raft of measures in a similar way to the Freight Transport Association's (FTA) Van Excellence programme. Many of the ideas are, it must be said, simply common sense and already in place on the majority of well-run fleets."

Simon added that it also appeared that FORS would be more widely adopted across the UK, increasing the number of fleets operating commercial vehicles of all sizes that it would affect.

He said: "TfL is promoting FORS as a national scheme and we know of several other major local authorities that are considering adoption. If this happens, we expect to see even more commercial vehicle fleets working to ensure that they meet its requirements."

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