All new Greater London Authority Group contracts worth £1 million and over and involving vehicles will require suppliers to be FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Gold accredited or a TfL approved equivalent scheme from April 2024
FORS is an accreditation scheme recognising freight and fleet safety and environmental standards
Making vehicles safer is a vital part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero commitment to eliminate death and serious injury on the transport network
TfL has met the target laid out in the Vision Zero Action Plan for all vehicles in the internal supply chain to be accredited with a minimum of FORS Silver and FORS Gold by April 2024
Transport for London (TfL) is introducing new requirements for fleet service contracts to continue improving vehicle safety on London’s roads. From April 2024, all Greater London Authority Group contracts, worth £1 million and over involving vehicles, will need to be FORS Gold accredited or a TfL equivalent approved scheme (Mission Zero and DVSA Earned Recognition). Encouraging fleet operators to take part in FORS is an important part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal to eliminate death and serious injury on the transport network.
Making roads safer is a priority for TfL and the freight industry. FORS currently have over 203,000 vehicles accredited across 4,700 companies both within the UK and abroad. The introduction of additional safety equipment and additional driver training through FORS has led to a 31 per cent reduction in serious injuries as a result of collisions involving commercial vehicles based on performance data submitted for Silver audits between 2021 and 2022. However, freight vehicles remain disproportionately represented in fatal collisions in the capital, and more action is needed to achieve the Vision Zero goal. Moving to the higher standard of FORS Gold (or equivalent) will ensure accredited operators meet the enhanced standards which are above the legal requirements for operating commercial vehicles, further reducing the risk to vulnerable road users.
The new requirements will be enforced from April 2024, and will not affect suppliers with prior contracts. Suppliers holding contracts valued under £1 million will be required to be accredited to a minimum of FORS Silver accredited. Their internal supply chains must also be FORS Bronze accredited. These changes aim to further enhance the safety standards of fleet services operating in the capital, helping them to reduce road danger for all, including vulnerable road users such as people walking and cycling.
FORS is an accreditation scheme recognising freight and fleet safety and environmental standards. It was created in 2008 by TfL and is now run by Sopra Steria. The voluntary scheme audits fleet operators and awards Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditations. Within the FORS standard, HGVs are required to be fitted with additional safety equipment for the protection of Vulnerable Road Users along with high-quality driver safety training embedded as part of the requirements. FORS assesses and recognises fleet performance in key areas: environmental impact, safety, and operational efficiency. The program provides a framework and sets benchmarks to help operators enhance their performance in these areas.
Initially run as a scheme for fleets operating in the capital, it was expanded nationwide to ensure that people across the UK could benefit from higher vehicle, safety and environmental standards. FORS provides a continuous system of performance improvement, through the accreditation levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold, providing reductions in incidents and collisions, along with the provision of member benefits, such as savings on insurance premiums, free and funded manager training. TfL and other organisations in London and nationally require FORS standards or equivalent schemes in contracts to improve safety.
Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance said: “The Mayor and I are committed to eliminating death and serious injury on London’s roads as part of our Vision Zero strategy.
“London has been leading the way in improving lorry safety through the Direct Vision standard, which has seen a huge reduction in fatal collisions where sight is a contributing factor. FORS Gold is another example of how we are driving up standards in the freight and fleet industry to build a better, safer city for everyone.”
Christina Calderato, Director of Transport Strategy and Policy at TfL said: ”Improving safety on the capital’s roads is key to our Vision Zero goal to eliminate deaths and serious injury on the roads and FORS has played an important role in driving up standards in the freight and fleet industry.
“The new requirements introduced to contracts from April 2024 will help TfL to ensure that fleet services across London are adhering to the highest level of safety on the road network, reducing risk to people walking, cycling, riding motorcycles other road users.”
TfL remains committed to eliminating all death and serious injury from the transport network as part of its Vision Zero goal. TfL is working in partnership with the boroughs, police and other stakeholders to directly tackle road danger and continues to work on a number of major programmes to make London’s roads and the vehicles using them safer. TfL’s world-first Direct Vision Standard, which reduces lethal blind spots on lorries, is already helping to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries. From October 2024, TfL will be enhancing DVS requirements with all HGVs over 12 tonnes required to have a three-star rating or fit Progressive Safe System measures to operate in Greater London.