The City of London Corporation is known for providing local government services to the UK’s financial centre, the Square Mile. What’s less well known is the range of other services it provides for the capital, from the stewardship of open spaces and woodlands such as Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest to the management of the Port of London docks at Tilbury, the wholesales markets of Billingsgate, Smithfield and Spitalfields, and even the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre.
These varied responsibilities result in a very diverse fleet to manage, as well as the necessary drivers. To enable this, the City set up the Transport Coordinating Group (TCG) in 2005 with representatives from departments across the organisation who have transport responsibilities. The TCG is chaired by Jim Graham, Assistant Director of Cleansing, and meets every two months to discuss and resolve any transport related issues across the Corporation.
One of the first actions the TCG identified was the need to update the old Corporate Transport Policy to take account of legislative changes, ensure consistency and compliance across the organisation and support the City’s key strategic Road Danger Reduction Plan. The City has been a member of FORS since 2008, and used the knowledge of best practice available from other members, along with colleagues in CLOCS, ALTO and other local authorities, to create a draft policy to take forward for consultation and agreement.
There were significant challenges throughout the process, especially agreeing the interpretation of transport legislation with our legal and human resources department. The support available through FORS in providing advise on how to deal with these challenges was invaluable and enabled us to produce a new Corporate Transport Policy that was agreed by Chief Officers and Members in 2015.
‘Being part of FORS enabled us to easily seek advice on best practice when developing our new Corporate Transport Policy’
The two major elements of the policy are a centralised driver licence checking process ensuring entitlement to drive and providing continuing monitoring, along with a robust online driver resource site and e-learning training programme. This was rolled out in in 2016 with a series of local workshops and roadshows to all departments across the corporation. Introduced with a video message from the Town Clerk explaining the importance of the new policy, staff were informed of changes and what was required for them to comply with the new policy (such as regular eye tests and driver assessments). All drivers were issued with a goody bag containing a copy of Driver Handbook, the most recent Highway Code and branded air fresheners and travel mugs.
We created an online driver questionnaire that all staff in were required to complete. This identified corporate drivers, grey fleet driver and people who managed drivers. These staff were then automatically enrolled in the online training so they were fully aware of the details and requirements of the policy and the new procedures required to comply with it. Staff that drive were also automatically registered onto the DAVIS online driver licence checking system, enabling the City to ensure they have a correct and valid licence every six months, or more frequently if necessary.
‘The FORS scheme perfectly complements the City’s strategic aim of reducing work related road risk ’
The new policy and procedures have provided the TCG with the assurance that all departments across the organisation are complying with transport and health and safety legislation. The City is now fully aware of all drivers who drive for work, whether they are using corporate vehicles or their own. This has enabled the City to ensure that 78% of staff have completed the on line training course, making them aware of the policy and providing advice and guidance on safe driving. Furthermore the City now has 100% of its identified drivers registered for continuous online licence checking.
Being members of the FORS scheme has enabled the City’s TCG to tap into the knowledge and experience of other members to help create a new Corporate Transport Policy that contains the current best practice in relation to safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. Maintaining Gold accreditation enables the City to ensure that this is continuously reviewed and improved upon.
Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim