Tube Lines – Promoting Gold

Tube Lines – Promoting Gold

Tube Lines is a London-based wholly-owned subsidiary of TfL responsible for, maintaining, renewing and upgrading the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly Line; with a substantial fleet of 1100 vehicles, and 38 haulage vehicles. Kevin King Haulage and Compliance Manager explains how FORS has spearheaded the implementation of initiatives to help improve the efficiency of operations within the company. Improvement in fuel utilisation and safety mechanisms on the vehicles are most evident through the FORS process. We want to lead from the front, acting as an example to all other London companies that FORS Gold is achievable.

1 We are based in Acton supporting the TfL umbrella by supplying vehicles to deliver/collect train parts and waste collection across London Underground. We have managed the FORS process and by using the FORS documentation have introduced a strategy to purchase twenty-three new trucks this year all with the WRRR requirements fitted as standard; these include eight dustcarts which are low level entry cabs. They have bi folding doors and the other fifteen vehicles have glass windows fitted to the nearside to enhance the drivers all round vision. They all have four way cameras with recording systems and the latest tracking devices which are used for route planning by the transport planners. After achieving Gold status last year we have continued to review all the requirements, this means analysing the data on fuel, fines and accidents, continually training the staff and reviewing best practice. By monitoring and investigating all these areas on a regular basis we were able to ensure our standards have stayed at the high level that is required to achieve gold.

Over the past year we have continued to train our drivers, completing the required e-learning programmes through FORS. Drivers have complete cycling e learning, the compulsory standard CPC courses; the Safe Urban Driving course which has refreshed their awareness of cyclists on the road, whilst continuing to do their other mandatory training. All the staff are annually assessed by a trained competent person which has seen an improvement in their skills, knowledge and awareness, the result of this has seen a reduction in fuel consumption, accidents and fines.

We have continued to review Penalty Charge Notice’s and any Night Lorry infringements. All the routes are planned, providing them with valid information about restricted parking however, if a fine is received; the individual at fault has to pay. The enforcement of this has led to an increased awareness from the drivers. We also have a more proficient recording system since achieving silver and gold awards which has allowed us to monitor and take action; it allows us to filter out recurrent events, offenders and hotspots, whilst making drivers take more responsibility for their actions. The new vehicle are all euro 6 diesels which will have an impact in reducing our emissions footprint this year which will affect the NOx and particulates.

Tube Lines was a founder member in the original working group that put together the FORS accreditation programme in 2008 and was awarded Bronze status.

We have renewed our Gold status four times and have used this to help monitor our policies and standards using the FORS criteria as a guide.

We passed the bronze audit first time, this showed us how important it is to keep accurate records, keep policies up to speed and continually review practices. This also encourages us to put in place a training package for our staff to meet the changing demands of the transport industry.

As part of our accreditation it was realised that not only the drivers but the office team should be trained, by attending the courses offered and attending the working groups and completing the e learning it has enhanced  FORS processes in the department.

Tim Dawes – Driver Assessor – “Since introducing the camera systems it has enhanced the ability to speed up investigations of our accidents, it has made the driver more aware and be responsible, resulting in reduced all round infringements.”

One key benefit which has helped improve the company has been the introduction of four way cameras with recording, this has helped the drivers and the company when investigating accidents and incidents, the footage has helped with a crash for cash claim and improved out insurance process.

Jason Coker a LGV drivers states – “I was involved in an accident recently where the car in front of me braked heavily causing me to brake very hard, unfortunately I could not stop quick enough so I hit the car, I thought it was my fault and in trouble with my boss, however after seeing the CCTV I was satisfied that I had done everything possible and I was involved in a crash for cash case.”

The main reason for progressing was to bring the best practices that FORS offer into the business, enhancing the transport operation, in particular the safety requirements for the drivers, the turn left systems and camera systems which has helped their ability to drive in London.

  • Although the annual mileage has increased which is due to the increased kilometres required by the ten vehicles used for the waste collection activity across London Underground there has been a reduction in accidents and PCN’s over the twelve months. This is a positive indication showing that the staff are more aware of the requirements around London.



Kilometres Incidents per 100,000 Kms Number of PCNs
Jan-Dec 2015 257668 66 76
Jan-Dec 2016 368437 53 54
Percentage improvement (43 %) 19.7 % 28.95%
  • Driver health and fitness review – Tube Lines carry out medicals for all new starters, periodic staff assessments and fitness to work with our own Occupational health department to ensure drivers are fit, eyesight tests are carried out every six months as part of FORS. We have a strong drug and alcohol policy and staff are tested on an adhoc basis.
  • Strategy for recruiting drivers – Tube Lines strategy is to promote within the department and train van drivers to LGV drivers positions, five have completed this in the last twelve months.
  • Noise assessment – Tube Lines have a strong noise policy and review this and remind staff through tool box talks, vehicles are fitted with night heaters to stop idling at night, secondary batteries are fitted to allow operation of the tail lifts without the engine running for loading and unloading and anti-idling devices are fitted on some vehicles which means the engine will cut off after ten minutes. All vehicles are washed at our depot where we have contained drainage.
  • Modal shift and alternative vehicles – We have a full time employee reviewing environmental options and impacts to the business this includes alternative fuels, we are currently looking into Biodiesel, HVO fuels and electric options. We currently run electric vans, hydrogen cars in our smaller fleet. Waste is removed from within the underground this is brought out by rail and then moved by road to dedicated tipping sites.

2Tube Lines future plan is to continue to replace the fleet with the latest available technology, where possible the purchase of low level cabs will be purchased, we will be looking at alternative fuelled vehicles that are in the marketplace and introducing biodiesel which will help with the CO2, NOx and particulate matter. We will make sure any new companies we deal with are FORS accredited and encourage existing ones to go from Bronze to silver.

Tube Lines already have Gold accreditation the goal will be to maintain that and continue to develop the staff, the policies and processes, reviewing these to meet the developing accreditation and business needs.


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Please note: All published FORS Gold case studies have been submitted by the accredited company named above and transcribed verbatim