Dignam (l) spoke exclusively to FACTS about his pioneering work on road safety standards as Operator Licence holder for the City of London

Vince Dignam wears many hats. He is both Business Performance and Group Transport Manager and Operator Licence Holder for the City of London Corporation, and has been the Chairman of the FORS Executive Group since 2017. As part of these roles, he is responsible for the implementation of the Corporate Transport Policy, as well as the management of a fleet of over 300 vehicles.

The City of London fleet is made up of a variety of commercial vehicles including vans, minibuses, 4X4 trucks, mayoral cars, garchey tanker lorries, luton and tipper body vehicles as well as plant items and tractors. Vince helps to oversee the safety and efficiency of these machines.

With over 30 years of experience in the transport industry, Vince is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), a Carmen Liveryman, and Freeman of the City of London.

He is a Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) champion and as part of this role promotes work-related road risk strategy.

Vince stated: “The City Corporation has been involved with the FORS accreditation from the beginning as we believed that this would help to raise standards with vehicle compliance.”

The City of London was one of the first local councils to achieve Gold accreditation. This means that standards of safety provided by the council, such as driver training, is currently exceeding standards mandated by transport law and a high level of professionalism is maintained.

Some safety measures currently taken by the Council include side guards on the whole fleet including 3.5 tonne vehicles, recordable safety cameras on large goods vehicles, reverse cameras on vans, and left turn audible warning on vehicles that are 3.5 tonnes and above.

Regular checks within the organisation are carried out to make sure everyone is up to code. Driving licence checks for all staff is common and driving assessments, carried out by a Road Safety Team, are undertaken when staff are inducted. All drivers have to partake in Safer Urban Driving training and the City provides these courses for contractors as well.

Vince added: “FORS accreditation has played a big part in raising standards within the City’s fleet and beyond. For example, we have been involved in the design and construction of vehicles for the Direct Vision standard.

“Through the City Corporation’s Highways contractor [Riney’s] we have purchased the very first low entry Direct Vision tipper lorry leading the way for other companies and local authorities to follow suit.”

By matching or exceeding the standards set by FORS, Vince has led the team to improve overall safety and reduce the number of work-related accidents, both on the road and in the workyard.

With the recent introduction of Version 5 of FORS, the City of London has had to adapt quickly. Driver behaviour on the road has been improved and slight changes to processes has meant that Silver and Gold accreditation has once again been achieved in a timely manner.

In the future, the City of London Corporation’s aim, above all, will be to keep the City of London safe. Through their previous work, they have demonstrated that this is achievable through constantly updating drivers with information on how to comply with new legislation.

The corporation also hopes to further tackle road danger and congestion amongst other problems to be further addressed. New transport initiatives and technologies are being thoroughly explored to see how they can continue to improve road safety.