London scene

Transport for London (TfL) has disqualified a member of the Fors scheme for the first time: Cowan Plant of Hayes.

The action came after an Industrial HGV Taskforce (IHTF) operation led to the Middlesex operator having its O-licence revoked, in addition to the company’s transport manager being disqualified indefinitely and losing her repute.

TfL revealed in December 2014 that it would be taking a tough approach on those operators not complying with Fors' terms and conditions. This followed a growing number of complaints about its members for poor driving standards and infringements from the public.

The IHTF operation also saw Wandsworth-based Space Rubbish receive a suspended O-licence for week following a series of drivers’ hours infringements. The company told that following changes to its staff it would now be able to effectively monitor drivers' hours data and ensure future complance with regulations.

Comprising officers from the DVSA, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police, the IHTF is an intelligence-led operation that targets non-compliant operators. Since October 2013, it has stopped 3,800 vehicles, seized 47 vehicles. Issued 1,787 roadworthiness prohibitions and more than 1,000 fixed penalties.

Siwan Hayward, deputy director of enforcement and on-street operations at TfL, said: “Although non-compliant operators and drivers represent a small minority, we will always push for the toughest penalties for any whose actions put other road users at risk.”

FTA head of urban logistics, Chris Snelling, added: “Logistics companies have continually invested to improve vehicles and driver performance, which has resulted in markedly improved safety rates for HGVs in London.  The work of the IHTF supports this effort by ensuring reputable operators cannot be undercut by those taking risks.”