Align appointed FORS Champion to deliver supply-chain best practice on HS2 construction project

The Align joint venture that is delivering the Central (C1) portion of High Speed 2 (HS2) Phase One, has become one of the latest major businesses to incorporate FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme – into its transport supply-chain following its appointment as a FORS Champion organisation.

Align’s FORS Champion status means its transport activities must have achieved the FORS Silver level of accreditation for its work on HS2. Align stated that Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) represented a key risk for the project with the decision made at the start of the venture that its risk reduction strategy would be best supported by mandating FORS Silver across its operation, including its supply chain.

Align is presently constructing the C1 section of HS2 Phase One which includes a 16km twin-bored tunnel and a 3.37km viaduct over the Colne Valley. Together, the construction will result in both the UK’s longest inland tunnel and longest rail viaduct. Align is a joint venture comprising Bouygues TP, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick.

As a FORS Champion, Align demands its commercial transport activities – including sub-contracted truck operators – are accredited to FORS Silver status. It means all vehicle movements are executed to the highest levels of safety, efficiency and environmental protection above and beyond the legal requirement.

“Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) is front and centre of our logistics activities,” said Head of Logistics at Align, Matthew Potter, “FORS provides us with a benchmark standard of best practice right across our transport supply chain, both on-site and, arguably more importantly, out on the road. We’re very proud to be working on HS2,” he said, “We have very high principles to maintain. It is imperative we maintain the highest standards of health and safety for our workforce and the wider public. FORS definitely helps us achieve that.”

He added, “All frontline suppliers and sub-contractors – any vehicle which operates to and from our sites – must have attained FORS Silver accreditation.”

Potter is fully conversant with FORS best practice, having embraced the scheme throughout his career with organisations including Crossrail and Thames Tideway. “FORS is now well-established among operators working in and out of London,” he said, “I believe membership of the scheme has delivered real benefits commercially. However, it is the emphasis on safety – for drivers and vulnerable road users – which remains my key focus, and I’m delighted that Align has been able to introduce FORS to truck operators further afield.”