Fors going national by early next year

Transport for London’s (TfL) Fors is to be rolled-out nationwide from January 2015.

The scheme, which promotes cycle safety measures and equipment, will shortly be placed into private hands following a tendering process earlier this year (CM 1 May).

The successful bidder, which TfL is yet to reveal, will operate the scheme for up to seven years through a concession contract.

Two-thirds of the more than 2,200 operators accredited under the scheme are based outside of the M25, despite its genesis in London. 

Leon Daniels, MD for surface transport at TfL, said: “Fors has helped transform how fleet and freight vehicles operate in London, encouraging greater compliance, better training, lower emissions and improved road safety.”

UKIP: vote for us, we'll scrap the Driver CPC

Ukip will scrap the Driver CPC if it comes to power next year, the party’s transport spokeswoman has pledged.

Speaking to CM after the party had its first Westminster MP elected last week, Ukip MEP Jill Seymour (pictured) confirmed the party’s intention to do away with the Driver CPC.

Speaking at Ukip’s conference in Doncaster last month, Seymour set out the party’s position when she said of the Driver CPC: “It is a menace. It’s expensive, it’s over-complicated and it’s causing many truck or bus drivers either to lose their jobs or to take early retirement.”

She added: “We see no reason for drivers to undertake this unnecessary and expensive course.”

Seymour said the Driver CPC was to blame for “the shortage of professional drivers in an industry that is struggling to get back on its feet”.

Robert Durward, chairman of the British Aggregates Association, who has called for the Driver CPC to be scrapped (CM 14 August), welcomed Ukip’s commitment. “Any party that is willing to listen to people who have been adversely affected by poor-quality legislation deserves to succeed. It is beginning to look like the old political parties may be about to pay a heavy price for their self-serving attitude,” said Durward.

Ukip has also proposed a new system for monitoring foreign-registered vehicles entering the UK. The Brit Disc would be a time-sensitive document placed inside the windscreen of foreign-registered vehicles that would be used to monitor their entry to, and movements within, the UK.

Unlike the HGV Road User Levy, the scheme would cover all vehicles “so they can be traced and checked for insurance, ownership and safety purposes”.

She added: “We should not be allowing foreign vehicles on our roads if we have no way to identify them and hold them to account if vehicle safety or road traffic laws are broken.”

According to Seymour, the Brit Disc would be a “low-cost, effective way of ensuring all vehicles entering the UK are making a contribution to the upkeep of our roads, which are so vital to our economy”.

The latest Driver CPC data from the DVSA suggests 659,652 drivers (HGV and PCV) had completed their 35 hours of mandatory training as of September, approaching the upper limit of 675,000 drivers that the government had estimated would need to do so.

By Emma Shone