The Gray & Adams unit, based on a 3.5-tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis, is described as more aerodynamic and futuristic in appearance than its competitors’ products

Van deliveries are on the rise but operators must take safety issues seriously or they risk further measures being introduced.

SMMT is urging a step change in safety improvements to ensure van owners meet self regulatory requirements and avoid the risk of fines and further legislation being imposed.

Currently, goods vehicles weighing less than 3.5 tonnes are exempt from the Operator Licensing regime that applies to heavier vehicles. SMMT has been working closely with the DVSA and other industry stakeholders to ensure this exemption remains in place.

To help this process SMMT is publishing an easy to follow van safety guidance at www.smmt.co.uk/vansafety.
Although there has been no move so far to make Operator Licensing rules apply to vans, the regulations and safety records around light goods vehicles are facing increased scrutiny. Industry is keen to ensure that a system of self regulation is maintained so that costly licensing can be avoided, so long as safety records are improved.

At current HGV fee levels, the collective industry bill for licensing for vans could stretch to as much as £2.1 billion.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Britain’s 3.2 million vans are essential for the smooth running of the economy but their recent safety record is a matter of concern. Vans rack up huge distances and endure significant wear and tear on a daily basis so regular servicing is essential. We’re launching a new campaign to promote maintenance so businesses can take the necessary steps to ensure their vehicles are safe, protecting their drivers and other road users without the need for further fines and regulations.”