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FTA brings van fleet support during coronavirus crisis

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is reinforcing its industry support with a range of services to aid van operators and logistics firms during the coronavirus pandemic.

FTA’s Coronavirus Advice Hub

This includes a new, free web portal – www.fta.co.uk/coronavirus – which provides visitors with links to important government and industry advice, and the latest information from FTA’s Coronavirus Logistics Impact Survey.

The FTA is also advising operators struggling with vehicle inspection services that they can still turn to its Vehicle Inspection Service

The association said it’s getting increasing numbers of reports from FTA members that they are struggling to book vehicle inspections with local garages due to shortfalls of staff under the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

In response, Tony Gibbs, general manager of FTA’s Vehicle Inspection Service, said: “The legal responsibility of logistics businesses to keep their fleets safe and compliant remains the same; these rules will not be relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic. At FTA, we would like to reassure operators of commercial vehicles that our Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) will remain operational throughout the pandemic and able to conduct inspections of the highest quality for businesses across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

“As small, local garages struggle to cope with the temporary loss of staff due to illness or self-isolation, our members have reported significant challenges in trying to book their regular vehicle inspections; we are here to help fill this shortfall. By working together, we can keep the economy running as smoothly as possible.”

FTA’s VIS is available to both members of FTA and non-members alike and offers a range of vehicle inspections covering vans and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to buses and specialist lifting equipment.

The FTA is also urging businesses to support the logistics sector by dropping their bans on commercial drivers using their toilet facilities, as it receives reports of this becoming a growing practice due to Covid-19 concerns.

Sally Gilson, head of skills policy at FTA, said: “The logistics sector is doing everything possible to keep supermarkets stocked in this time of unprecedented demand for food and other basic items, but it needs the support of businesses in order to do so. If these drivers are unable to take the basic precautionary measure of keeping their hands clean – something recommended heavily by government – then they are more likely to succumb to the illness, and in turn, will no longer be able to keep supermarkets, schools and hospitals etc stocked with the goods required. Businesses within this industry are determined to keep the UK economy operating as normally as possible; we just ask for the support of businesses during this turbulent time.”

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Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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