London’s Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) has expanded its remit to cover car fleets as well as commercial vehicle operations.

The organisation will now change the ‘freight’ part of its name to ‘fleet’ and plans to grow its reach to the whole of the UK later in 2012.

FORS is run by Transport for London as part of its efforts to cut the number of deaths and injuries on the capital’s roads.

The organisation was set up in April 2008 and is headed by Stephen Steele, TfL’s freight and fleet programme manager, and now has more than 1000 members operating a total of almost 100,000 vehicles.

A FORS spokesman said: “We help companies to become safer, greener and more efficient. We educate and encourage freight operators to follow best practice, rather than focusing purely on keeping within the law.

“We noticed that because of the name, some companies, particularly smaller ones that didn’t see themselves as freight operators, were being missed. The change reflects well our aim to cut collisions, congestion, costs and emissions.”

FORS encourages members to improve their behaviour using a bronze, silver and gold series of standards. The first eight members reached the gold standard at the start of this month.

Members of FORS are able to gain access to preferential rates on fleet services such as driver licence checks, driver profiling technology, advice to limit the impact penalty charge notices have on businesses, driver training, best practice workshops and breakdown assistance.

TfL funding has also recently enabled FORS members to send their drivers on free bespoke training courses developed by TfL and the London boroughs to address the specific safety issues arising from driving lorries, vans and coaches around the capital.

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