The City of London Corporation is responsible for and provides local government services for the financial centre of the United Kingdom.
My name is Rob Ellis and I have been in post as the Corporate Transport Manager at the City of London since October 2011. As such I have the overall responsibility for the “O” licence and the compliance both for vehicles and drivers. I’m responsibility for a fleet of around 490 road vehicles and over 1000 items of plant of various sizes; these cover areas including cleansing and waste collection, highways, maintenance and open spaces services. This number fluctuates according to season, social events, such as the Lord Mayors show and additional cleansing requirements due to sports events. the City prides itself on the diverse functions it provides and operates within the square mile 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The City of London Corporation provides local government services for the City of London. The area governed is at the heart of London and is commonly referred to as the ‘square mile’. We fully support and promote the City of London as a world leader in international finance and business services. We have an unusual population structure there are just over 9,000 residents but approx. 390,000 people commute into the City each working day In addition to this we have our own independent Mayor elected on an annual basis, The City of London was and still is extremely proud to be in the first group of 8 to be awarded the FORS Gold accreditation for Transport for London Freight Operator Recognition scheme. We were also the first unitary authority to gain this accolade.
The City continues to be involved and promote in the FORS scheme in many ways. To assist with safety the City of London has placed in its procurement regulations that all service providers and contractors must be a minimum of FORS Bronze. On vehicle procurement the highest level of safety must be considered along with the reduction of emissions harmful to health. We have implemented that where possible that, all alternative fuels should be considered as part of your purchasing procedure, particularly all electric and petrol-hybrid. All vehicles where practicably possible are low entry cabs and fitted with additional mirrors, audible turn and reverse warnings and a full camera and recording system,
Supporting the Ethos behind FORS is paramount. Road safety does happen by accident: RE Feb 2016
As holders of the Gold status we are striving to go “The Extra Mile” this means we have to ensure we are leading the way. We regularly attend FORS meetings and to assist with the role out and development of FORS have on several occasions given presentations some of these have been at short notice. We also assist by hosting and assisting in developing CPC programmes this allows the any new or modified presentation to be aired with any comments added and adjustments made if required.
Our latest in a long line of initiatives was to introduce a safe, high visibility vehicle and urban friendly vehicle into our fleet.
A replacement vehicle was required for our current Garchey disposal vehicle; the current vehicle is based on an Iveco chassis. Additional safety equipment including mirrors and side guards had been fitted but despite this the vehicle has several areas where visibility is an area for concern. My task was to identify a chassis that would fulfill this requirement and any additional safety equipment, and working with the operators concerned design, develop and then project manage this throughout and to ensure that the City of London not only met but exceeded the current requirements. As part of the selection process a list of essentials was built up, this included a low emission engine and easy access for both the driver and crew. To ensure we achieved this several meetings and site visits were undertaken after which it was decided that as part of the build specification a Low entry cab was essential to give both the access and superior all round vision requirements.
After extensive research into chassis and various specifications available, a pre-owned Dennis Chassis with a low entry urban cab was selected as the donor chassis. This was due to its proven reliability and excellent all round vision in an urban environment. With 2020 only 4 years ahead a newer Euro 5 engine model was selected for this as the engine could be modified or the tank removed and placed on a newer Euro spec chassis if required. Vehicle body fabricators were researched and the services of an independent fabricator who specialises in road going waste collection and disposal tanker solutions were procured. The chassis was sourced and purchased, due to technical specifications of the build and restrictions at the collection points the chassis needed modification before the tank could be fitted. The chassis came with a tipping body and this original body had to be removed and the chassis shortened to achieve a 5m wheelbase. Once this was completed the chassis was signed off as complete and readied for delivery for the tank build.
Throughout the built regular visits to the factory and to the City were completed to ensure that not only was the vehicle being built to the required specification but that all the additional safety equipment added was not only suitable but fit for purpose and user friendly. The vehicle was completed and commissioned in November the increased all round vision has been highly commended by the drivers.
It is every body’s right to have the ability to travel along the streets and pavements without the fear of being injured and return home safely.
The FORS workshops have reiterated the need for continual development in the transport industry, not just the Drivers for their CPC, but supervisors and managers as well. The practitioner workshops allow healthy debates and discussions they also assist those of us (not me) that are nervous of speaking in public or lack confidence to be able to voice their own opinion. We have also introduced the Safe Urban Driving (SUD) and Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) for all drivers including those requiring the DCPC training.
By using the tools provided we can plan renewal of older more polluting vehicles this has been a priority during the past year, replacing only those needed thereby reducing both the fleet and the emissions produced. We have now as part of the procurement process insisted that all vehicles are either, electric, petrol/hybrid or petrol where possible. This is proving to be a challenge as many of the models currently on the market and certainly larger commercial vehicles are diesel.
Driving assessments for all departments have been introduced for drivers as part of the recruitment process, all newly qualified drivers are given extended assessment with an element of coaching. This shows the correct way to complete a pre use inspection and to correctly complete a NIL defect report and the defect reporting structure. We also include an element of safe and fuel efficient driving methods. Specialist training is then arranged and given by the respective departments and recorded on their personal file.
Both on a personal and professional level FORS has brought together many new and some not so new acquaintances and I would like to say friends. The transport sector has for too long been classed with scant regard. FORS has helped show that this is not the case that we are professional and dedicated people who are willing to listen and act accordingly to ensure that both we and future hauliers benefit from our ongoing work. I am often contacted by other members to discuss ideas for better implementation of systems and also how they can move forward to gold. It is also important that all the effort and commitment put in by all members of the team that contributed and were involved achieving this accolade here at the City does not go unnoticed.
We have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure that all those that use the roads in London are safe but particularly in our case the City of London and this we will continue to do alongside FORS.