UK transport minister supports code to raise van standards

Birmingham, United Kingdom: Transport minister Mike Penning MP signalled his support to raise standards in the UK van sector when he awarded a Van Excellence certificate to pharmaceutical wholesaler AAH Pharmaceuticals.

Penning issued three Van Excellence certificates of accreditation on 12 April, including one to AAH, when he visited the Freight Transport Association’s stand at the CV Show in Birmingham.

Van Excellence is an initiative to raise standards and improve the image of the UK’s growing van sector and currently represents 13 organisations operating over 22,000 vans -with 80 more in the pipeline.

James Hookham, FTA’s managing director – policy and communications, says: “We are grateful for Mike Penning’s support for Van Excellence, which endorses the degree of seriousness with which industry has embraced this key FTA initiative. The early adopters of Van Excellence are rightly proud of achieving accreditation for this demanding and comprehensive code of practice.”

AAH delivers around one third of the medicines dispensed in primary care. AAH’s 730 vans and HGVs travel around 95,000 miles each day to deliver medicines to thousands of pharmacies, GP practices and hospitals throughout the UK.

Geoff Wright, head of corporate services at AAH, says, “Ensuring our fleet operates to the highest standards is important to AAH. Getting medicines to patients who need them is more than just moving boxes. And we recognise we owe it to the public and our drivers to ensure we provide a safe working environment and practices.”

This award comes at a time of growing concern about maintenance standards and the standards of driving in a rapidly growing 3.5 tonne van vehicle fleet which is out of the scope of commercial vehicle regulation in Europe.

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