The RHA has launched RHA Vans, a new membership category for van operators.
Membership has been designed specifically for van fleet operators or owner drivers and includes an accreditation scheme for operators to begin incorporating the recognised standards of an RHA audit of compliance and adherence to best practice. It follows the launch of RHA Coaches earlier this year.
This is in preparation for the long-awaited statutory O-licensing scheme for larger van fleet operators expected to be introduced in the UK in the next two years, following the start of EU regulation of international van operators in 2022. The UK scheme is expected to focus on limiting the hours driven by van drivers in the home delivery sector, which have become a growing concern in the Covid-19 pandemic.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said vans had become an “enormous part of the new way of shopping” and that the “exponential growth in van usage had caught the market out”.
“Large fleets are perhaps not operating as well as they should be,” he said. “Asking drivers to do 300 or 400 drops a day seems unsafe.”
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While the UK licensing scheme is expected be similar to the EU’s, Burnett said the UK government wanted to “lead not follow” and the RHA was in discussions with the DfT to “help set the agenda” and make sure operators’ voices were heard.
Burnett added that the RHA Vans membership was designed to offer operators “practical rather than theoretical support” that would help them “stay compliant and drive cost out of the business”.
Van members have access to the RHA fuel card as well as the full range of technical and legal member services. It was launched at the CV Show with a Ford Transit Custom, Britain's best-selling van, wrapped in a special RHA livery.