Member companies that breach Fors regulations will be punished with immediate termination from the scheme, Aecom, the company that runs it, has warned.

Aecom said it had investigated hundreds of potential breaches of the scheme last year and any company bringing it into disrepute would be dealt with appropriately.

Its robust stance came as Fors silver member Global Transport had its licence revoked at a public inquiry presided over by traffic commissioner Sarah Bell.

She found the company, with premises in West Drayton, could not demonstrate the necessary financial standing for one HGV on a three-month average balance, despite having a licence authorising the use of 14 trucks.

John Hix, Aecom regional director (pictured), said it could not comment on individual cases, but added: “According to our compliance process, if a licence is revoked by a traffic commissioner you will be terminated from Fors. It’s black and white.

john Hix

“There are shades of grey on other transgressions: if a transport manager loses his repute, we have a set of criteria on that; and if a licence is curtailed, we have a set of criteria for that. There is a series of steps that will depend on the transgression and will lead to a company potentially being suspended from the scheme for a period of time. At the end of that it must undergo an enhanced audit, which it will have to pass to be readmitted.

“For very serious offences, we terminate operators from Fors, which means they can’t rejoin for six months. If they want to [after that] there is an enhanced audit and they start again, as it were.”

Hix said so far this year the Fors compliance team had investigated 207 possible non-compliance matters and suspended two companies. It is investigating a further four matters that could result in suspension or termination.

In 2016, the team investigated 650 possible breaches of Fors membership requirements and most were resolved with “minor corrective action”. Two companies were suspended last year, but no company’s membership was terminated.

MT has previously questioned the scheme’s rigour around compliance and safety after discovering in 2015/16 dozens of instances in which members were formally warned or penalised by traffic commissioners for a range of shortcomings, but Fors did not take any action.