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FTA names Van Excellence Hero of the Year Award winner

An Ocado van driver who helped to rescue casualties from four separate collisions has been named as the winner of the FTA’s 2018 Van Excellence Hero of the Year Award. 

L-R: The FTA’s Mark Cartwright with John Barter and Andy Eccles, head of fleet, Mercedes-Benz Vans

John Barter, whose heroic actions include pulling an injured driver out of her car after her petrol tank burst during a multi-vehicle crash on the motorway, was presented with the award by Mark Cartwright, head of vans and light commercial vehicles at the Freight Transport Association (FTA), which administers the Van Excellence scheme at the annual Van Excellence Honours.

Cartwright commented: “I have the utmost respect for John Barter. He showed great leadership, calm and bravery in the face of crisis; his actions significantly aided the victims’ recoveries. Heroes come in unexpected places; van drivers should not be underestimated.”

John Barter added: “It was a great privilege to be able to help these individuals when they needed it most. I love van driving and the fact that my first aid training and road experience means I can help people in need is a great satisfaction to me. I would like to thank the team at Ocado for their ongoing support, and I am so honoured my colleagues nominated me for this award.”

The Hero of the Year award was one of the titles presented at this year’s Van Excellence Honours, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Helping the Community, sponsored by Quartix

  • Winner: Cadent Gas
  • Highly commended: Reflex Vehicle Hire

Keeping Your Show on the Road, sponsored by AA

  • Winner: James Hall Couriers
  • Highly commended: McGinley Support Services

Making a Difference, sponsored by Lex Autolease

  • Winner: Scottish Water

Putting Drivers First, sponsored by Brigade Electronics

  • Winner: Scottish Water
  • Highly commended: McGinley Support Services

Using Technology for Good, sponsored by Hertz UK

  • Winner: The Clancy Group
  • Highly commended: McGinley Support Services

Winning at Wellbeing, sponsored by Bott Ltd

  • Winner: Amey

Hero of the Year, sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans

  • Winner: John Barter – Ocado
  • Highly Commended: David Sturmey – Qi Van Systems
  • Highly Commended: Peter Williams – James Hall Couriers 

Van Excellence Champion

  • Winner: Graham Davies – Electricity North West
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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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