Fleet News

'Make friends with your maintenance contractor', says Traffic Commissioner

West of England Traffic Commissioner – Sarah Bell has told transport managers’ not to over-look the importance of their relationship with maintenance contractors’.

The statement made during an FTA web chat was made by Miss Bell when she took part in the question and answer style interview filmed at Ascot racecourse.  The chat was organised in response to the popularity of similar ‘Q&A’ sessions held previously at the FTA Transport Manager seminars, and was designed to respond to enquiries submitted to the Association from the freight industry.

During the web chat entitled ‘Ask the Traffic Commissioner’ the TC was posed a wide range of questions varying from ‘Driver CPC’, ‘Financial Standing’ to ‘Olympic Legacy’, and she referred in particular to the importance of the role of the transport manager and their relationship with maintenance contractors.
Sarah Bell praised the work of the transport manager saying:  “If you think about the role of the transport manager they have to be able to communicate with the drivers, with the training and support staff, right through potentially for some to board level, and that in itself is a talent.”

And whilst referring to the essential communication with their maintenance contractor the traffic commissioner added: “Maintenance features heavily in Public Inquiries; Maintenance Contractors not only tell the Transport Manager and operators a lot about their vehicles but also about their drivers. If they are doing a thorough inspection and if there are driver reportable items appearing on the preventative maintenance inspection sheet time after time, that contractor is telling you how your drivers are performing  - not just how the vehicles are performing.”

At the end of the filming, Bell described the experience as ‘quite pioneering’ vowing to ‘make a date’ for a replay.

Bell was interviewed by FTA head of media relations, Julie Maddocks who said: “The Freight Transport Association was thrilled to be able to host the first ever ‘Ask the Traffic Commissioner’ web chat.  Sarah Bell was extremely generous with her time, enthusiasm and answers to the questions put to her throughout the interview, and demonstrated how valuable communication between the Traffic Commissioner and the freight industry can be.”

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