Women in Transport Podcast

A podcast aiming to help increase the representation of women in the transport sector

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Tuesday Nov 15, 2022

https://womenintransport.podbean.com/e/meryl-roberts   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast Sharon: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety. Today I am delighted to welcome Meryl Robert who is the contract and performance team leader at National Highways. Can you share with us your journey so far, working in the highways sector? Meryl: Yes, I’ve been privileged in joining the Department for Transport many years ago – National Highways was not a thing at that time. I’ve been able to take on lots of different roles in the civil service which has given me quite a broad experience. Though that I managed to transfer to the earlier version of National Highways, and I’ve worked on contract teams, I’ve delivered scehmes, I’ve delivered finance, commercial and procurement, I purchased land. I worked through to national operations where I set up the customer contact centre and that’s lead to the delivering operational services. I built my experience over many years and with many diverse teams. Sharon: I’ve been lucky enough to visit Quinton recently where the National and Regional Traffic centres – NTOC and ROC as they are known – so I’ve seen first-hand how busy your customer services teams are. How do you support the customers who use the road networks? Meryl: As you say there are quite a few different teams based at the Quinton office. We’re the National Traffic Operations Centre, and we look after the whole of the network, it’s one of the few offices in NH that covers the whole of the strategic network. We have the customer contact centre there that works 24/7 & 365 days answering front line services, and we also have the Strategic Traffic Operations which means we have operators who set strategic signs. The National Incident Liaison Officers keep their eyes and ears open for critical incidents that impact the network. We are very interested in the impact of an incident and looking at the information around that incident, so it leaves the regional office to tactically manage the incident and mobilise the traffic officers. Our offices can then look at what information can we give to customers? What signs can we set that give the customer the opportunity to make key decisions about their journey. They can either take a break or take an alternative route but it’s so that the information is far enough away from the incident for them to make those key decisions. The data we have is particular to the centre really. It’s collected from assets on the network. We receive it in the centre, and it’s processed and verified and that happens every minute, so the data comes into the office, goes out to America, comes back again and that is happening once a minute so it’s real time information. Then that is disseminated to businesses – not only National Highways – it enables other companies to use that data to provide traffic information services and in-car services which people probably don’t realise that data is shared so far afield, and it's free. Sharon: That’s amazing, it would be fair to say that National Highways – a lot of people think they’re responsible for building and maintain the motorways but from what you’ve said they do a lot more than that? Meryl: Yes – we build, operate, and maintain 4300 miles of motorways and major A roads and there are over 4million journeys travelled every day and the data we collect for the network and from mobile devices means that we have that Realtime information about what’s happening. It’s shared with providers that users will know about on their phones and in car systems and we also work with communities and stakeholders – to deliver a social value and a community benefit to leave a lasting legacy if you like. This leads on to supporting key messages about pollution affecting towns and villages, reminding road users about important safety messages, so it’s an extension of that engineering capability. We also work closely with organisations who are planning events that attract thousands of visitors. More recently we were active in giving information to the Department of Transport when they were planning the complex detail with Operation London Bridge. We support lots of sporting event, activities that take place at Wembley or at the NEC, Commonwealth Games, so we’re able to provide signing, and useful info to direct people to carparking and to let them know what’s happening in and around that area. We also help the strategic signing and timing of roadworks so that the project teams can vary the times so that the roadworks aren’t suddenly going on the network at the same time as someone leaving a very busy football event for example. Sharon: It’s so interesting. It shows how much interaction and engagement is happening with communities that many of us wouldn’t think about. Meryl: We’re not just building roads and causing problems – it’s actually being very proactive and how we can help these people on the network. Sharon: The strategic road network is at the core of our national transport system. Its performance is important to the whole of the country. Meryl: Yes, the network links people to places, materials to manufacturers and goods to markets – it’s really important for lots of companies that have critical deadlines to deliver goods to supermarkets and it has an impact on how much they’re paid. If they are late delivering, they have to pay a forfeit for that so it’s important that we work with them and give the information so they can plan their journeys. A lot of the team in the National Centre work very closely with them so we can make sure when we are planning roadworks or something that might compromise the network that they are aware of it, and we have actually consulted some of these companies directly so they can use this information. Part of the current contract that I manage is now working on how we can deliver that data in a simple way so they can use it to help plan. They have to plan routes, the safety of their drivers and to ensure the perishable goods are delivered on time - and the network will also support people to travel to work on a daily basis which now is increased after COVID. Home deliveries and visiting friends and family holidays – it’s interesting to know that the network carries 34% of all traffic and 68% of that is freight. We move 3 times more people than the rail network, so it puts it into context how important the strategic road network is to the economy. Sharon: We also know National Highways likes to engage with their customers and et them involved in consultation and surveys Meryl: Yes, I joined that department many years ago and we didn’t think of road users as customers – we were engineering - but that has now changed, and our key imperatives include putting safety first for our customers. We work hard to ensure that not only do we engage with the community and the users of the network but that everyone who works at National Highways is able to understand and communicate what we do and why we do what we do. There are many ways in which we talk to our customers – different surveys and consultations that we use so that they feel they can have a say about what we are planning. We have customer insight services which underpin our customer service strategy. As you probably picked up, we have a diverse group of people who use the strategic road network and there’s a variety of ways that customers can get involved. The transport Focus that is one of our regulators have a strategic road user survey known as SRAS. It asks drivers about journeys they’ve taken in the last 4 weeks on our network. This reaches out to 21,000 customers each month. There are other more internal insights surveys called High View that compliment the SRAS survey but also asks people about their journey experience – it’s more detailed and more specific and flexible about the type oof journey they take. We have customer panels and freight panels, and they are used to explore and understand responses to perhaps different types of signs we’ve set. We try to react to customer feedback that we get and that’s often from Transport Focus. We vary our campaign messages and the type of signs that we set so we get specific feedback and of course we use social media for real time feedback on particular incidents. There are lots of other ways of us receiving feedback – correspondence, people telephone the contact centre, and then also audits are undertaken to support the projects that are happening and IPSIS MORI undertake independent assessments where we have particular areas where complaints are high. We can look at how that project is working and make changes to support some of the feedback we get. In real time it’s important that people contact us through the contact centre and they will either deal with the enquiry or direct it to the right part of National Highways. If it's something bespoke to a particular project... Sharon: I guess it’s really important to us that customers do contact us and give us their feedback and their thoughts and experiences so we can make a positive difference Meryl: Absolutely, and of course we have our web-based services on the website where they can use ECHO, and this is fed directly to the projects – and we do get ECHO feedback about our Traffic England website that is used for real time information. Sharon: One thing you mentioned earlier was engagement and language is important to National Highways – so why are road users referred to as customers? Meryl: Principally we connect the country by maintaining and improving the SRN and we provide real time information about the network and we do this for the people that use it, so it’s a subtle difference from having a customer that walks into a shop but actually these are the customers of our network and sometimes they don’t have much choice in how else they travel – they have to travel on our network – so it’s important we let people know that we care about them, their journey and we have a key focus on keeping people safe. Sharon: I think that would be reassuring to many people that use the road networks. You touched on signage and incidents in the network. Every year we still see many incidents involving drivers and roadworks so many of these we know are due to a combination of distraction, fatigue and fast speeds. When you see these incidents unfolding what should customers be doing to minimise the risk? How can we work together to reduce them? Meryl: I think it’s important that road users pay attention to the signs – it’s very easy to drive past them and perhaps they’ve previously seen a sign they didn’t believe or didn’t think gave them the right message. The signs are there for a reason., They are triggered by the speed of traffic in the network and so it’s important that people take the time to slow down and think about what could be happening up ahead. We do consider how we design our traffic management to ensure that roadworks are easy to follow. It can be confusing but that is something we have worked to improve. In principle road users are asked to follow the speed limit when travelling through roadworks and that then leads to avoiding confusion and perhaps driving into someone who is in front of them, so it’s giving yourself space and time and giving the respect to other people, so they feel they have space and time and you’re not driving too close to the vehicle in front. Sharon: You talked about your driving style. We know we are leaving Summer behind now and moving into Autumn driving conditions. How should we be driving in Autumn and Winter? Meryl: We have the variance of heavy rain which create spray and impacts visibility and other times you have a very low sun that impacts your vision and how much you can see. Allow extra time for braking, leaving a good space between you and the vehicle in front, also checking that you have the correct lights. There are cars that have the lights that come on automatically – you may notice that some vehicles don’t have their lights on – because the light hasn’t quite triggered the lights to come on. It’s a simple thing to check yourself to manually put your lights on because iyou might not think about it, but they might not have. You’re not visible in your vehicle. Following the clock change you’re driving home in the dark, because of the time zones so make sure that you have actually checked your eyesight. It seems a strange thing to say, but suddenly you realise your sight has deteriorated, working with IT and things like that, so it’s important that you have regular check ups and you have the right support if your eyesight has deteriorated. The other one is to keep your windscreen clear when the sun is shining on it, as the inside of can be smudged so bear that in mind. These seem obvious but it’s amazing how many people don’t carry out these simple things that can make a real difference. Sharon: I’ve heard car drivers comment about driving at night-time and the glare from other vehicle lights on their windscreen. In fact, I’ve heard many people say they have refused to drive in the dark because they feel safer not to do so Meryl: Yes, that’s exactly right. I think the other impact is if you’re wearing contact lenses – so people need to change to wearing glasses, but these are simple things you can do. Sharon: That’s a good tip. Meryl, have you got any other more top tips or requests for driving in autumn or winter? Meryl: Yes there’s a few simple things to think about. Prepare your journey, look for travel updates, check your journey before you leave. Ensure your phone is charged – have a charger in the car – and that your phone has emergency contact numbers. The contact centre is one to have in there. Understanding what to do if you do breakdown – this information is on our website and there’s been a lot of adverts recently about what to do if you breakdown. Have your vehicle checked – tyres, wipers, windscreens and screen wash – that’s important when we come into the season of winter and I do have in my car a bag which has got a brightly coloured hi-vis jacket , a very old pair of walking boots because if you’re caught out and have to clamber over a safety barrier or stand at the side of the motorway it’s cold whatever the season and you may not be wearing the right shoes – it helps to have them in the back of your car. Make sure you’re fit to drive and you’re not tired or fatigued and my final ask would be – understand where you are on the network – don’t just rely on your satnav. I have these conversations with my children – if they were broken down, they wouldn’t know where they were – so understanding the place where you are going and where you are on the network and if anything should happen then at least you can alert someone. Sharon: Meryl as someone who has experienced a blow out on my tyre and stood on the side of the motorway, I can support your top tip of a hi vis warm coat and sensible boots and knowing your location because that definitely helped me Meryl: Yes and turn your mobile phone to vibrate so you can hear it if anyone is calling you as you might not hear it ring on the side of the motorway – it’s a hostile noisy environment. Sharon: As you know, this is a series of podcasts and articles to celebrate successful women working in transport but to also showcase the diverse range of roles available to them – you’re co-chair of the leading women’s network and equality diversity and inclusion champion so I couldn’t possible let you go without asking you to tell us more about this and why it’s important to you. Meryl: I am excited to say that very recently I became the co-chair and Amy Lynch who also works for National Highways shares that role with me, and Mel Clark set up the leading women network and she recently handed the baton to Amy and myself. We have done a lot of work over the last few years to raise our profile and we’re proud that in 2020 that we were winners of the employee network of the year. What I like is that we provide so many interesting forums and we talk about lots of different subjects ranging from looking after your health, keeping safe and also career development. We have a very diverse membership across National Highways and everyone enjoys sharing their experiences sharing their stories, and helping each other – it’s a good way of doing that – and during COVID we had lots of bitesize sessions through Teams – and talked about various subjects with invited speakers to share information – that was a great way to network but now we are delighted that we can meet face to face and we’re planning our next event which is on the 17th November and this is with a focus on the power of your brand. We are keen to broaden our links with similar networks across different organisations and we are learning and sharing resources. I am delighted to say that we have the support of our supply chain at this next event so we’re finalising the agenda – I feel very privileged to be involved in that and to lead a team of people who are supporting us and we hope to do some exciting things next year and plan for international women’s’ day in March. Sharon: Meryl – that sounds like a great support network and community, and I will make an note of that and we may come back to you following next year’s International Women’s Day to see how you got on. Meryl – thanks you so much for talking to us and sharing your story and top tips.For those of you who want to know more about Driving for Better Business and the benefits to managing and reducing your road risk, visit the website athttps://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com

Friday Oct 14, 2022

Show Notes Sadie Weston established Employ Recruitment in 2005. In this episode of the Women in Transport podcast she describes her journey of getting into recruitment and working in the logistics sector, and how she dedicated her career to changing the perception of HGV driver recruitment agencies through raising standards. We hear how she has realised her vision, creating a successful driving agency with 100% compliance at its core, and what she's learned along the way. https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/episode/women-in-transport/sadie-weston/   Useful Links Employ Recruitmenthttps://www.employrecruitment.co.uk/ Driver Recruitment Softwarehttps://www.driverrecruitmentsoftware.com/   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast Sharon: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety. Driving and riding for work presents one of the biggest risks to business and addressing those risks often involves fresh, new thinking. With me today is Sadie Weston who established Employ Recruitment in 2005. Sadie, lovely to see you again and thank for you taking the time to chat with us today.Tell us about your journey of getting into recruitment and working in the logistics sector. Sadie: I fell into a career into logistics before I even knew what it was. When I was 19, I started working for a specialist driving agency. Early on I saw first-hand the importance of compliance and safety following a major road traffic accident, so when I was about 21, I set off with all my new learnings and set up my own driving agency, Employ Recruitment, which specialises in the supply of logistics staff -mainly HGV drivers on a temporary basis to haulage companies. Because of my attention to detail and desire for continuous improvement in standards I realised quite quickly that many driving agencies were not compliant and did not fulfil their obligations in terms of driver’s hours and working time directive despite all the legislation in place. I identified a need for change, and I wanted to do things differently. In 2005 I dedicated my career to change the perception of HGV driver recruitment agencies through raising standards. My vision back then was to create a successful driving agency with 100% compliance at its core and that’s been achieved in subsequent years. When we began that was quite a challenge – we relied on a lot of manual processes to achieve the vision., I invited in all the legislative bodies I could think of to check our manual processes until they were sufficient. Culture was also really important from a young age and for the colleagues, the drivers, and the clients. We now have very well-established brand promises that focus around honesty, humility, and respect for everybody and what I found to be my greatest challenge when working in Employ was finding a piece of software that managed the process of driving recruitment from start to end with a focus on compliance. It didn’t exist so I started to use a piece of software that met that requirement as closely as possible – then I went onto buy the company which is now a business in its own right know as DRS driver Recruitment software, a SAS platform that streamlines and automates the process of HGV driver recruitment end to end. The introduction of DRS into Employ eliminated the majority of manual processes, and it streamlined the business, achieving a 25% reduction in overheads, through automating the resourcing, the planning, compliance, finance and management information driving agencies rely so heavily on being accurate. So going back to my earlier vision to improve the perception of logistics recruitment throughout the UK and seeing the results in Employ, in 2019 I went to offer DRS to other driving agencies and by that point I had a tried and tested proven solution which was Employ and DRS enabled Employ to double, reduce overheads and remain 100% compliant in real time which improves road safety and protects our drivers and customers. Aside the businesses and in a bid to bring agencies and clients together for the greater good, I’m also the divisional director TEAM and hold a seat on the Logistics UK government group for driving agency excellence, and within these diverse roles I believe I’ve created an environment for collaboration to share best practice with other driving agencies – moving away from that stigma of keeping information under lock and key, and then later, with that collaboration we’ve been able to go to operators in a bid to align agency standards and margins and you’d be lucky to have a conversation with me where margins don’t crop up. They’re important. I understand that agencies work hard in a reactive role to meet the client requirements to ensure standards are aligned - agencies need a margin to reinvest to the same level as hauliers do in training staff systems and accreditations and so on. Since neutral vends entered the market place hauliers saw the opportunity to standardise low margins, in my opinion that only served to halt the progress of many driving agencies, and I would like to see an improvement in how we all work together so that the compliant agencies who are doing their very best are rewarded by being offered more work first and it no longer comes down to low margins, power or rebates. Employ have been lucky enough to maintain these margins and benefited by being able to continually invest, and as a result some of the most recent initiatives this year, the introduction of crisis cover which provides access to transport lawyers in the event of blue light incidents, and e-learning for HGV drivers, a roadskills online driver benefits package, and a 12 month HGV driver specific wellbeing campaign, and I think that brings you right up to date Sharon. Sharon: Our Driving for Better Business programme encourages and supports operators to look at what they do by evaluating their practices and taking the necessary steps to enhance their performance. You mentioned TEAM – can you share how it’s supported and benefited you as an employer but also those other members? Sadie: TEAM stands for The Employment Agency Movement, and it’s split into different sectors. Speaking about the driving sector, it’s a really easy environment for driving agencies to come together and we have guest speakers, training specific to driving agencies, in fact I’m organising an event for the 3rd November to bring 50 driving agencies together to focus on what to outsource so we’ve got various suppliers tp pitch their product in 15 minutes and focus on what value that will give back to the driving agency – time, financial – so that agencies can focus on what they need to do best, which is really customer service to the drivers and the customers. They don’t need to get bogged down with admin processes. As well as the collaboration which is the best I have seen within the driver agency sector, there’s also shared resources, things like terms & conditions, there’s access to endless training and there’s a community. TEAM feels like a family in the industry – we’ve got a WhatsApp group so we can share problems, and someone is always there to help, and I would recommend any driving agency to consider joining. Sharon: I know you’re always pushing the boundaries for improvement at Employ. Tell us about how ISO9001 and Investors in People have helped you. Sadie: Over the years, I have signed Employ up for most things and we learnt an awful lot from Investors in People on culture, trust probably being the main thing – how to look after our people and in return we found that they bring a lot back to the business. Something I am prepared to touch on later is things like I employ a lot of working mums, so we wanted to look at the things that were suitable for working mums. Things like contributions to childcare, working hours and work from home which are not common in our industry which is male dominated as you know. To touch on ISO9001 that meant that we got a library of policies and procedures that informed our people how to run the business s in a consistent way. Sharon: You touched on working mums, Over the years supporting and inspiring other women whether staff, drivers or clients is close to your heart. Why is that so important to you? Sadie: I think that comes down to I would love to see more women in logistics. I stumbled on this industry, and I’m constantly impressed by the women I meet in the industry. I worked with a lot of men in the early days and some of those men taught me how not to do things and some inspired me, and I’ve had the privilege of working with many great women, one of whom is a coach I use, Claire Barnett, from Synergy who focus on coaching on organisational development and that put culture at the top of the list for me. I also work with some excellent women these days – Leslie O’Brian of New Aura and Charlotte Le Maire – both are very inspiring – they’re on the same mission that I am on. They want to see improvement for HGV drivers and road safety. That’s really where I’d like to see the whole industry going. Women – logistics is the perfect industry for women. Women have a very detailed understanding into their subject matter and tend to remember quite a lot, to the pain of our partners from time to time, and we are able to provide tangible data for improvement. I would love to see more women in the industry. I’ve employed around 40 women in my time at Employ and at DRS, often in their first job in transport and we’ve had a high commitment to their training from great companies like the RAC and Logistics UK, wellbeing coaches, and now a lot of those women have stayed in the industry which is really important, and gone on to hold really important roles in the industry. Sharon: You fell into this industry by accident. How can we showcase and promote the diverse roles that are available. What more could we do in schools and universities to raise awareness? Sadie: Something that I do – I think we’ve all got to do our bit - so on occasion I go into schools and talk about my career in logistics and what that has looked like and the various opportunities. I think school is a crucial starting point, and something that impressed me yesterday, my son is about to choose his options and he came home having answered 100 questions online which had populated his career options and based on his strengths and preferences I was pleased to see that ‘logistics manager’ came up as his 3rd recommended job role. When we were at school, we had an hour with a career’s advisor, and logistics was unheard of, so to see that difference now days is really positive. Sharon: I’ve got to say I had an hour as you said, I said I wanted to work in logistics and they told me the only job ever available would be a driver, and to go and find something else to do and come back when I was 21. That was my careers advice. Sadie: That’s shocking – how did you know what you wanted to work in? Sharon: It was a family thing for me so many of my holidays were spent in a vehicle map planning! Any professional fleet operator will want to ensure that all their drivers – whether temporary or fully-employed – they are driving safely and responsibly – so there are thousands of recruitment businesses out there, and they do not all work to the same standards which unfortunately does have an impact on road safety. What are the key areas that you would recommend a fleet operator to explore when looking to engage with a new agency, to they know there is no negative impact to their compliance, operator licence and safety standards? Sadie: I think that stems from the set-up meeting that’s held. I’d be looking for an agency that goes through rigorous set up, who want to know all about the day in the life of a driver working for that operator, about the insurances - how long must the driver have held a licence? How many penalty points, what type of induction is available - and you want your agencies pushing for that information. If the agency starts to supply blind, I would question the service you’re going to get. Something else I would look for is accreditations – something I’m passionate about is the Logistics Driver Agency Excellence Scheme. It’s the only audit that really audits the agency on their processes for driver engagement and management - and so a bit about the audit – the audit looks at the core business standards – terms of engagement, insurances, staff training and policies and then it’s also looking at driver recruitment standards. Is the agency obtaining the right identification for right to work? Qualifications? Are they adhering to the clients’ requirements in terms of insurance, pay parity and then things like driver management standards so collective / workforce agreements, working time directive management of the EU Driver hours and how the agency are confirming the shifts and planning these drivers that they are not seeing day to day. For me the biggest tick an operator could look for would be a demonstration of those robust processes through the driver agency excellence accreditation. Of course, you may wish to create your own audit which I would recommend and audit your agencies against your own processes. Sharon: From what you’re saying, you’d always recommend that operator going to meet with the agency and seeing the processes in place – back-office - to support the operations. Sadie: Where possible yes, it’s not always practical but nowadays we can jump on Teams from wherever in the country and I would have a specific list of things that are important to the operator, and I would be asking the agency to evidence those processes through a meeting. Sharon: The last 2 years has seen many obstacles within the industry - the pandemic and driver shortage to name just two. How do you think these have changed the operator’s perception of temporary workers and the flexibility they provide to support an operation? Sadie: Yes, I really do – I think for a long time, agencies were seen as a necessary evil by many - agencies and agency drivers – treated like 2nd class citizens and information wasn’t shared properly on processes and then as soon as something went wrong the agency were beaten up for it or the driver was banned, and really there was no partnership. In many cases it felt like a dictatorship – I’ve walked away from a number of clients for that reason so things like lead vend models and the legislation like AWR and pay parity went some way to redefining the relationship, but that put further pressure on margins which was a negative thing for driving agencies to progress and I think now the value of agencies and their drivers has been redefined by the driver shortage. We’ve seen more operators looking at more sustainable partnerships with aligned objectives. It no longer comes down to just money and who can supply the most drivers. We see senior members of our customers collaborating with the agencies as respected partners for the greater good. I know more recently we have been asked to support in understanding the neutral vend model which resulted in fairer calculations for the agency charge rate. I honestly feel there’s a long way to go. Some agencies are working below standard for compliance and service – but operators are embracing the contribution of a good agency and seem to understand that partnership is key to a successful supply relationship. I hope along the way we can bump the standards up of many more driving agencies in the UK. Sharon: From a recruitment point iof view, how important is it for drivers to get a thorough induction, familiarisation, training. when they start with a new operator? Sadie: Absolutely crucial. Some can be done through automation – things like video inductions work in the absence of someone being able to be there to induct the driver. It’s always better if there’s a full site induction and familiarisation with the standard operating procedures, and a driving assessment as well because it’s not reasonable to expect the agency to be able to assess their own drivers, certainly not on lower margin contracts, so it’s crucial the drivers have a walk through the SOPs. Sharon: Sadie, thank you so much for talking to us and sharing your story and your insights as well as your best practice with us today.For those of you who want to know more about Driving for Better Business and the benefits to managing and reducing your road risk, visit the website athttps://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com

Thursday Sep 22, 2022

Show Notes Some areas of fleet management are highly regulated but that doesn’t always mean that these fleets are managed well. Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East, to discuss some the common failures seen regularly at operator level and what it looks like to be a good operator. https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/episode/women-in-transport/sarah-bell/   Useful Links Information about Traffic Commissionershttps://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/traffic-commissioners Traffic Commissioner's Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TrafficCommsGB Sign up to receive news alerts from the Traffic Commissionershttps://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKOTC/subscriber/new   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast Anne-Marie: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety. Now, some areas of fleet management are highly regulated but that doesn’t always mean that these fleets are managed well. Today, I’m thrilled to be joined by Sarah Bell, Traffic Commissioner for London and the South East.Sarah, welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast. You’ve had over 20 years of working with the transport industry and now as a Traffic Commissioner. How did your career develop? Sarah: First of all Anne-Marie thank you for inviting me, following Jo Shiner – difficult footsteps to follow but I’ll do my best. My career... developed is probably too sophisticated a word for it. It flowed, really. I qualified as a solicitor in 1993, with a regional practice down on the South Coast. I stayed with them until 1995, but then I wanted to get into commercial litigation but there were no positions there, so I went elsewhere. And bizarrely I ended up doing maritime litigation as well as commercial litigation. So, for example, marine accident investigations, helping their clients weave their way through the interviews, etcetera. And then also defending health and safety executive prosecutions for their clients. And so it was regulatory as well as litigation – which is not something which I had originally signed up to. But then the opportunity came for me to take that back to the firm where I had originally trained, which was lovely because I hadn’t actually particularly wanted to leave in the first place, it was just that there wasn’t the sort of role that I had wanted. And we developed a wider regulatory practice. They already were RHA panel solicitors, so I started doing that work with them – so representing operators, transport managers and drivers before my predecessors as traffic commissioners, and also in the criminal courts. But at the same time, I moved from defending HSE prosecutions which I had done at my previous firm, to actually prosecuting as a solicitor agent for the Health and Safety Executive. So I have – as they say - played on both sides of the fence. I’m a prosecutor and a defence solicitor by expertise. But then in 2006 I was approached by the recruitment consultants that were in charge of recruiting the new traffic commissioner for the West of England. And they said, “why haven’t you applied?” and I said I didn’t know that Phillip was retiring – which was a big faux pas as he wasn’t retiring, just moving London and the South East. And so that’s how I ended up being a traffic commissioner. Anne-Marie: Fantastic, so your experience – on both sides of the fence – has been quite broad. And you mentioned, you joined the West of England as Traffic Commissioner and now you’re the responsible for the South East. What are the responsibilities of a traffic commissioner? Sarah: They are wide and varied. First of all we don’t sort out anyone’s parking tickets, unfortunately, which is what most people think if they don’t know about regulation of commercial vehicles. What we actually do is we regulate the bus, coach and haulage industry, and their vocational drivers. There are eight traffic commissioners regionally, there’s one traffic commissioner for Scotland – Claire Gilmour, one traffic commissioner for Wales – that’s Victoria Davies. And then the other regions. And, we look at commercial vehicle businesses and their drivers – and it is from cradle to grave. So, if you want to operate a one-man or one-lady scaffold business, or if you want to be the next Eddie Stobart, you need an operator’s licence. And that licence tells you where you can operate from, how many vehicles you can operate, how many trailers you can operate. And you have to tell us what your safety regime is going to be. Similarly with vocational drivers. Whether it’s lorries, or it’s buses and coaches – from your very first provisional right through to your retirement – whether you are able to hold that entitlement and whether you keep it depends on your driving and your approach to safety, and we regulate all of that as well. Anne-Marie: Excellent. So your role is not to go searching for wrongdoing, but to arbitrate on allegations when they are reported. How are most inquiries reported, are there specific triggers? Sarah: So the undertakings on the operator’s licence are all focused on the roadworthiness of vehicles, and the drivers being safe. Because, as we know, a lorry in the wrong hands is a lethal weapon. And, there are a lot of systems that we expect them to have in place, so obviously the lorries and coaches have their tachographs in... that’s not enough. We expect there to be regular downloading within the maximum timescales under the legislations. But not only downloaded – we expect it to be analysed. Have there been drivers’ hour infringements? Has there be driving off card? They have to the systems in place – likewise with the undertakings in relations to maintenance. They have to tell us how frequently they are going to have their vehicles inspected. How frequently they are going to have their trailers inspected. Who is going to be doing those inspections? And so, the inquiries flow from the success or failures of those systems. And most of the reports we receive are from the DVSA - Driving Vehicle Standards Agency – I refer to them as the Department for Transport’s commercial vehicle enforcement officers. And also, but less so, the police. With the police it depends more on the traffic area; some have more commercial vehicle police units than others. Obviously, I’m incredibly lucky in London and the South East because I have the Met, and the City of London, and I see a huge number of referrals from them. We also get referrals from the Health and Safety Executive, and the Environment Agency, because our regime is safety focused. And it’s not just about how do you run your transport, it’s what’s your approach to safety? So if there’s been a health and safety... not even prosecution... even if it’s an enforcement notice and it’s not been complied with. Or if there’s an Environment Agency prosecution. Then, we are told about those and the operator can be called in, with the transport manager, to consider their good repute. Anne-Marie: Excellent thank you – that’s really insightful and I’ve learnt some things that I didn’t know there. So, what are the common failures at any operator level that you see regularly, and is this through ignorance, inexperience or lack of care? What do you see on a regular basis? Sarah: Well I’ve been doing this since 2007. And unfortunately, I keep seeing the same stories, just different people. Ignorance... ignorance is interesting. Because, when you sign up for a licence, the form is online now, and it’s about 18 pages. So it’s not like how it used to be, when you’d go to the tax desk. You are making a whole heap of promises that you know what you’re doing, and that you already will have the systems in place from day one. And there’s an appeal court case called MGM Haulage and Recycling 2012/030... not that I use it very much. And that said that operators, transport managers and applicants are deemed to know all the advice and guidance in the public domain. And it’s vast. So there’s all the Senior Traffic Commissioner statutory documents. There’s all the DVSA documents – such as the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, Careless Talk Costs Lives, all the drivers’ hours... so ignorance is probably limited. Not as limited as it should be, but limited. In experience, we have what we call a gatekeeper role about who we let in, who gets a licence. And that’s not just about “have they got convictions” etc., it is about the individual, the company, and how are they going to get it right first time. So you can be inexperienced, but you still have to have the systems in place to make sure that the business is experienced. And one of our favourite sayings also is ‘never mistake experience for expertise’. Because sometimes it’s the experience that has got in the way, because they’re still doing things the way they’ve always been done. Lack of care when managing the health and safety of vehicles and their drivers - absolutely that’s the key. That is what we see the most. There may be a system in place, but it’s not been reviewed. There may be a system in place, but it has fallen to the wayside because there’s been a change in personnel. And the worst one of all, where commercial need is put ahead of compliance. And those are the themes, really. Anne-Marie: Thank you, Sarah. I’d like to talk a little bit about the van sector as well – because vans, as you know, are not regulated in the same way. There are over 600,000 trucks on our roads, 75,000 buses. But this is dwarfed by the van sector and that has been increasing in past years. There are more than 4.8m vans on our roads now. Do you think they should be managed in the same way as trucks, and would regulation of vans be a useful step? Sarah: It’s interesting isn’t it, Anne-Marie. Because they’re not unregulated, they just don’t have this figurehead stick to beat them with, as some like to say about traffic commissioners. Section 2, section 3, section 7 of the Health and Safety traffic laws... they all still apply. And I don’t think it’s really for me to say that they should be or not – I’ll probably get into trouble if I expressed a personal opinion. What I would say is there’s lots of excellent schemes around, including the work that Driving for Better Business does... the Trade Associations etcetera. And those who want to do well, and those who want to look after their people, and those who want to be safe, will seek you out. And they will join, and they will be engaged. And the challenge, I think, for the van sector, is the same as we actually have for the haulage, bus and coach sector – which is how do you reach those that don’t want to be reached? Because there are those that still are under the radar, who keep of the strategic road network, who run under the radar. And they’re the ones who are the challenge. And you’ll have that whether they’re regulated more akin to the Traffic Commissioner Operator Licensing regime... in any event. Does that make sense? Anne-Marie: That makes absolute sense. And there is commonality regardless of which vehicle you drive or ride. We’re all humans – the people operating those vehicles – affected by the same problems. Fatigue isn’t different just because you’re not driving a truck, and you don’t have a tachograph in your vehicle, for example. There are some standards that absolutely should be applied across the piece – and if you’re good at managing your trucks, you could be good at managing your vans. Because you’d apply the same principles of that high standard. Sarah: Yeah, and Anne-Marie you’ve absolutely hit the nail on the head, because obviously we regulate a lot of companies that run a mixed fleet. And we say – how you run your vans should be entirely akin to how you run your lorries. And I have done a public inquiry where they run truck fleet brilliantly – to the point of exemplar. But their smaller vehicles, and the company that they subcontracted with, were regularly overloading the smaller vehicles. And I called them into public inquiry. It’s all about safety. Anne-Marie: Absolutely. Traffic commissioners work closely with enforcement agencies – and I think you mentioned DVSA earlier – and most recently have contributed to the Roads Policing Review. How has this collaboration improved safety on our roads? Sarah: I have to say, you’ve hit the nail on the head with my favourite subject at the moment, which is the Roads Policing Review. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make real change on our roads. Although it’s called the Roads Policing Review, it has merged into something wider, in that it is looking at other enforcement agencies, particularly with commercial vehicles, and the role of the DVSA. And it’s about having joined-up enforcement, and also joined-up education. So, the standards that the police work to would be the same as the standards that the DVSA work to – so one would be upskilling the other. Because obviously the DVSA spend all of their time on the very highly technical side of commercial vehicle regulation, whereas the commercial police still have their other role to do as well. Both see education as key, both see enforcement as key, both see referral to prosecution and traffic commissioners as key. But what we’re looking at is joining up those processes, so that everything comes through to actually be triaged, and so if it’s for education it goes to education, if its serious it goes to prosecution or the traffic commissioners, and that will be the same whether you are stopped in Eccles, in Bodmin, or London, or Birmingham. There will be one rulebook, one uniformity of approach. And it will – I hope – raise awareness, both roadside and online, that there is only one way to run your business, or to drive your own car. And that is as an exemplar. Because you will be found out – that’s what I hope. I think it’s a real opportunity. You know, we have 44 police forces. So 44 different ways that I might receive information – a lot of them don’t even know who a traffic commissioner is. I don’t want vehicles being stopped and it being dealt with at the roadside with the driver, and left at that. Because very often, it is not the driver that is the problem. And there was a stat a few years ago, and it came through a Highways England collaboration piece, that the police had done 30,000 stops and issued 31,000 prohibitions. And that’s brilliant, that’s absolutely fantastic, that’s what we want. But what happened next? Was their follow-up with the operator in the appropriate case etc.? This whole Roads Policing Review is looking at that and everybody’s involved. And I just love it, it’s really exciting. Anne-Marie: That’s really useful to know, because I think as a program, Driving for Better Business would love to follow up on that work, and actually do a big communication piece around that, so people are aware, and they do know. At the end of the day, we don’t want people to fail. We want operators to be good and be understanding of what they need to do, and to be able to take action to remedy stuff that goes wrong for them. So my final question for you, Sarah, is a very simple one. What does a good operator look like to you? Sarah: If I could bottle that up, I’d be a billionaire! It’s not about the nuts and bolts – forgive the pun. I think, from what I have seen before I was a traffic commissioner, advising companies and their staff, really it is that the culture of an organisation comes from its leadership. If you bring rigour and openness to all of your systems; you don’t design systems around the bare minimum; you don’t mistake experience for expertise; and you invest in your people and your safety regimes – that is what ‘good’ looks like. And I say it time and again, when I see operators in public inquiry in front of me, I say: compliance pays dividends, literally. If you’re having your vehicles regularly inspected, they break down less. If you invest in your people, and you check on them – not just 9 to 5, but you look at how they present at work before they even start – do they look well? Do they look concerned? Do they look tired? You should have systems all around that. If you look after your people, you look after your wagons... it will pay. Anne-Marie: Sarah, that was brilliant. A lovely way to end this podcast. Thank you so much for joining us. Sarah: Thank you for inviting me, I’ve really enjoyed it Anne-Marie – it’s always a pleasure to talk to you. Anne-Marie: Thanks Sarah. And, if you’d like more information on Sarah’s interview, and links that we mentioned in the course of our conversation, visit drivingforbetterbusiness.com.  

Friday Aug 26, 2022

Show Notes "The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK is the home of the profession – so people who are working in the industry of transport and logistics and supply chains at any level have got somewhere they can come to be part of the community... we can support them through their career development.We like to think that anyone can come to us and ask us any question, and we’ll give them good, neutral advice based on the facts."Sharon Kindleysides, Chief Executive Officer of CILT(UK) https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/episode/women-in-transport/sharon-kindleysides/ Useful Links CILThttps://ciltuk.org.uk/ Generation Logisticshttps://generationlogistics.org/ Upcoming Events The Transport & Logistics Safety Forum Annual Conference, 8th November 2022Event summary - CILT(UK) (ciltuk.org.uk) The Women in Logistics Conference, 13th October 2022Event summary - CILT(UK) (ciltuk.org.uk) CILT programmes to support Learners: Aspire is the Charitable arm of the CILT which supports people with training cost to progress within the profession:CILT(UK) > Aspire (ciltuk.org.uk) Novus which is a programme to support those wishing to undertake University Studies is here:Homepage - Novus   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast Anne-Marie: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety.  The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport was first established in 1919.  Their vision is “a transport, logistics, operations and supply chain profession, recognised and celebrated for its quality, expertise, and value”, and I’m delighted to welcome their Chief Executive, Sharon Kindleysides. Sharon, welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast.  Can you tell me more about the purpose of the Institute? Sharon: Yes, hello Anne-Marie, thanks for inviting me. I think the institute is the home of the profession – so people who are working in the industry of transport and logistics and supply chains at any level have got somewhere they can come to be part of the community. We are a chartered body so people that wish to go that way we can support them through their career development. We also offer training for individuals and organisations, and advice. We like to think that anyone can come to us and ask us any question, and we’ll give them good, neutral advice based on the facts. We have an amazing learning centres so if anyone’s doing any research they’re welcome to come and see that too. Anne-Marie: Fantastic. How big is the institute, how many members do you have? Sharon: Well, we’ve got roughly 13,000 members in the UK and we’ve got about 170 corporate members, where we work closely with them - but we mainly hear from the individuals. And they range from people at the start of their career right to the top fellows who’ve been doing great service. And I wrote a letter last week to somebody who has been a member for over 50 years. Anne-Marie: Wow, so there’s a real depth and breadth to the membership then. Sharon: Absolutely, and it’s just so valuable, particularly for our younger members. If they’ve ever got a question, there’s bound to be someone in the organisation who is senior and can offer advice. And I think that’s what’s really good when we go to places like a conference. People learn from each other. Anne-Marie: Brilliant. Now, your appointment as CEO of CILT is quite recent and you’ve had over 19 years leadership experience in the sector.  What do you see as the priorities for the sector at this point? Sharon: Yes, as you said I have been in the industry for some time now. I took over the job roughly three months ago. I think it’s quite a key time for the profession. I’ve noticed it’s pretty much every morning there’s a news article that’s something to do with the supply chain or transport or driving or the fuel crisis – various things along those lines. So at the moment we’ve really got a stage to talk about ourselves. The key priority for me is making more people aware of the profession. Approximately 4% of all jobs in the UK are in logistics. We’ve got young people who just got exam results and are wondering what to do with their careers. My priority is to say look – this is an amazing, vibrant, passionate industry with jobs in all manner of things you’ve maybe never heard of, so come and find out what we do. So I want to make the profession, or the sector, attractive and appealing – so that when somebody is thinking about what job to do, they don’t turn their nose up and say “oh, I don’t want to do that”. I want them to think “wow, that’s truly amazing, I can go and be part of something massive”. And without our industry and things being transported, there’d be nothing in the shops. We’d pretty much be sitting here naked. So it’s so intrinsic to everything we do in the country – so I want everyone to feel as excited about it as I am really.   Anne-Marie: That’s really interesting – I didn’t realise just how much of our daily life involves someone working in transport and the logistics sector. We need, now more than ever, to grow this sector. How is Generation Logistics encouraging people into the sector? Sharon: We’re doing a lot of things. We offer a mentoring scheme. We’ve actually got a couple of organisations we support who encourage people right at the start of their career, who might not be able to pay their own way through a qualification, to actually go to university or do a more practical course. So we’re really trying to get in at the start of these things. We’ve got an organisation called Think Logistics who help support schools. So we’re trying to make people aware of the whole industry and the scope. So when they become a student, or when they’re an apprentice, we offer them training and professional development. We just offer them a place where they can come and find out more, and choose their own career path. They know we’re going to support them all the way through. And, we offer mentoring. So if anyone comes to us and wants to mentor or be a mentoree, we try to link them up.   Anne-Marie: That sounds excellent. It’s a good thing to support young people. I’m glad I’m not young anymore because I’m not sure which way I’d go to get a job! But this sounds like a brilliant scheme to encourage more people into the sector itself. You mentioned technology – it’s advancing considerably, and we’ve seen significant developments in autonomous vehicles. What are the challenges this brings, and how far away are we from truly, fully autonomous vehicles? Sharon: I mean, there are fully autonomous vehicles in trials around the world. The technology itself is very well developed. One of the views I have of it is that it’s a bit like a fashion show. People go to Paris and see the most amazing outfits, and then possibly a colour, or a design, or a belt they’ve seen makes its way into the supermarket or a high street store. And then with autonomous vehicles, every new version of a car that comes out has learnt something from autonomous vehicles – from headlines that dip and raise themselves, to sensors that tell you if you’re about to leave the lane. So I think we’re seeing cars get a lot more intelligent. There’s certainly a number of applications that I think will be really beneficial. Somebody once said that the first time you get in an autonomous vehicle, it’s not going to be 5 o’clock going around the M25. It’s going to be in a constrained environment. I think what’s going to be really valuable is things like out-of-hours and remote public transport – for example, to help shift workers get to and from work – maybe there’s an autonomous vehicle that takes you to an out-of-town car park, where you could park your car to avoid congestion. Maybe it’s around a hospital or a university campus. I think the first place we’ll really see autonomous vehicles in full blown running and being useful is going to be in these limited environments. I think we’ll also see them in agriculture, and even maritime, where there is again this constrained environment – there’s nothing to stop, say, a completely autonomous combine harvester harvesting a field. Or in a shunting yard of hauliers, just moving trailer units made for B to C. That could be fully autonomous. It’s going to be a long time before we see them in the city centre. But what they can bring is this technology, particularly the safety features, into normal cars. So that the cars that are on the normal road at the moment have got these safety features built in. That’s always been one of the key selling points of autonomous vehicles – the number of accidents due to human error – because if you can reduce the human interaction, then you can also reduce the number of accidents. I think it will be slow progress, but there’ll be certainly applications where we’ll see fully autonomous vehicles a lot quicker than in other areas.   Anne-Marie: Thanks Sharon. That’s actually really useful, you’ve mentioned quite a few things there that I hadn’t considered. Especially the agricultural and maritime perspective. There are huge applications now. That’s fascinating. Moving on, there is also much discussion as well about Intelligent Transport Systems.  Can you explain what is meant by that and what are the benefits and downsides for road users? Sharon: I’ve always thought there’s a slightly bad choice of words there, because it suggests there are non-intelligent transport systems as well. Which we don’t mean at all. But for me, it’s applying data, and the use of data and technology, to the normal transport systems that we use day-in, day-out. And the most basic application that nobody really thinks about is that we’ve got traffic lights that change, we’ve got a vehicle waiting and a vehicle queue. So that is an intelligent transport system, it’s using a sensor, it’s taking information, it’s changing the traffic lights. And as technology progresses and we get a lot more data from ANPR cameras, numberplate cameras, from people just having mobile phones in their car… everyone’s heard of Google Maps. We’re getting such a vast amount of data, that intelligent transport systems can take and use. […] We certainly saw during the first lockdown of the pandemic that we were getting daily updates about traffic figures and they were coming from this data and these figures. But is also gives planners to react in real time, if congestion starts building up, and they can possibly divert people to route B. So, at the highest level, it just gives us a better way of managing the road network. You can set targets to manage the road network to reduce congestion, improve journey times, improve air quality… there’s a raft of things to use it for. And you can also make sure that enforcement can be cleverer. For example, there have been systems around schools and in 20mph zones, where the speed limit is only there during school hours, so by using the intelligent transport system connected to the cameras, and effectively a clock, you can make sure that people are only penalised because they actually did break the rule at say 3pm at school picking up time. So you can be clever and selective. And I think that makes these enforcement measures a lot more palatable to drivers because you know it was fair – you were caught doing something you shouldn’t have, not when the school wasn’t there. So I think there are many applications, and we’ve all seen journey time systems on the motorway telling us how long until the next junction. That helps. There’s nothing worse than being in a traffic jam not knowing how long it’s going to take you to get home. So I think that reduces some of the stress of driving. For downsides, older vehicles may not have all of the technology and information that can tell you how to get to the next traffic light on green, and things like that. So perhaps older vehicles won’t have that. We don’t want to distract drivers, you know, there’s cars now that look like space shuttles with so many warnings and alerts and you really don’t want to distract the driver. So some of it is that you don’t want to deskill the driver. We want them to still be driving the vehicle and paying attention. So there’s got to be a balance there between how you use the technology. And I’ve noticed myself, I’ve got lane-keeping assist on my car, but I live relatively rurally. And we have a lot of marks on the road that aren’t white lines, and the car does sometimes try and persuade me to drive along something that isn’t a white line. So we have to be careful about the application, and make sure when new drivers are starting to learn and get this technology in the car, they’re prepared for how it’s going to change their driving style, and what they’re going to have to do to drive these more intelligent vehicles.   Anne-Marie: Thanks Sharon, I think that’s a really important consideration – that when technology advances, especially in vehicles, that we have to bear in mind is that sometimes there’s a trade-off, and so safety must be paramount. We can have as many technological advances as we like, but if safety is worse, then we’ve got a problem. So I think there are many opportunities to collaborate cross-sector, between vehicle manufacturers, road users, highway authorities… There’s a really good future for improving travel, and how we travel under less-stress on our roads. When I was back in school, I took motor mechanics, wood and metal work, and technical drawing instead of sewing and cooking.  It did raise a few eyebrows as girls generally didn’t take those subjects!  Transport and logistics have been quite male dominated in the past but there are many more women now in the sector. How is the CILT supporting them? Sharon: I’ve got a similar story. When I was choosing my A-Levels, a friend and I decided that we were both going to be engineers, and we both decided to ask our schools could we please do technical drawing. And my school was very kind and progressive and modern and said “yes, of course you can”. So they were deeply supportive, and think without that support at the time there was no way I would have become an engineer. Nobody told me I can’t do it. I think today, we have to make the industry seem attractive, and really make people aware of the opportunities. I think a lot of transport-related jobs are not necessarily strict 9-to-5s. So they do fit in well to other responsibilities – it’s not just women who have caring responsibilities. Anyone can have caring responsibilities. So I think the industry itself is really geared up for that flexible work environment. But again, we’re not very good at talking about it. As I mentioned, we have the CILT mentoring programme, but we also have a Women in Logistics forum, which is an amazing forum where women and gentlemen and non-binary people can come together to talk about transport issues, in a safe environment. But you know, we’re always thinking about what’s in it for women, but also promoting our younger ladies as they come through and giving them a good platform where they can learn to speak in a professional environment where it’s friendly and supportive. And we’ve actually got our Annual Conference on the 13th October, so I would encourage anybody to come along and attend, and I’m really keen that if you have a young colleague who might want to come, bring them along, or if you know a younger person who wants to come, get in touch with us so we can be welcoming when they get there so they’re not walking into a room of strangers. Because that’s intimidating however old you are. And sometimes it’s nice to have somebody looking out for you and being aware of you. And at our Annual Conference that was held earlier this year, we took a younger member of the organisation, a lady called Rebecca Hicks, and invited her to chair the entire conference. And we supported her through that. But it was just to really make people aware that we’ve got this younger generation coming out, these really amazing women who are coming through. And if you can’t see it, you can’t be it. So we’re really keen to get out there and show who we are and what we stand for. And as a lady myself I’m really keen that everyone sees me and realises they can do pretty much whatever they want. I’m the first female Chief Executive of the CILT and I hope there are many more to come. I’m absolutely passionate that we make the Institute welcoming and supportive for everyone – and in that way make it good for women and make it good for everybody. So, that’s something I’m very keen about and I would encourage anybody to come along to our Women in Logistics group or even just join the forum online and see what we’re about.   Anne-Marie: I love that comment, that if we make it good for women we can make it good for everybody. I think that’s brilliant. It is about that level playing field, that everybody can be part of something. Looking back at your 18-year-old self, what one thing would you like to say to her? Sharon: Well I would have liked to have said you should buy Bitcoin! But failing that I was thinking about this question, and I think something I thought about relatively recently is to be confident, and bring your authentic self to work. I do remember when I was in my late 20s I had a child, a relatively young baby. I didn’t tell the company I went to work for that I had a child, because I thought in some way that they’d feel less of me, or wouldn’t trust me, or wouldn’t give me a job. And also I think I have some neurodiverse issues and to be honest and open about that and open about mental health – it’s really hard. And it’s only something that I’ve become comfortable with in the last few years. And I thank a lot of younger people who have helped with that, they’re on social media, they’re talking about their own challenges. And it’s taken a lot for me and my generation to come out and say things. I have mental health problems, it’s ok. It’s ok not to be ok. And that’s something I’m really grateful to the younger generations for. So to my 15 year old self I’d say be confident being your authentic self at work.   Anne-Marie: Thank you, Sharon it’s been brilliant talking, to you and getting information on the CILT. For those of you who want to know more about Driving for Better Business and the benefits to managing and reducing your road risk take a look at the website at https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com

Tuesday Jul 26, 2022

Show notes "It’s really interesting that almost 6 people a day die on our roads in this country and yet there is not in my opinion a loud enough outcry around that. I find it completely unacceptable that here is that level of death, trauma and tragedy and all those families who live on without their loved one." Jo Shiner, Chief Constable of Sussex, and is the roads policing lead on the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) talks about her role and how collaboration is essential to the success of roads policing strategy.   https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/women-in-transport/jo-shiner/   Useful Links Sussex Police https://www.sussex.police.uk/ National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) https://www.npcc.police.uk/ OK9 - police dog welfare programme https://www.oscarkilo.org.uk/   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast: Jo Shiner - Chief Constable, Sussex Police Anne-Marie: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety.  Driving and riding for work presents one of the biggest risks that businesses need to address.  Employers have a duty of care responsibility, and managing this risk requires employers to ensure the company must not do anything that puts their drivers or riders at risk and that the company’s work-related driving activities must not endanger other road users.  I’m delighted that Chief Constable Jo Shiner from Sussex Police is joining me today. Chief Constable Shiner, a very warm welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast.  Your policing career has spanned nearly three decades of public service.  What drew you to joining the police? CC Shiner: Truly it was to make a difference. I know a number of people say that, but it really was. Our family went through a really difficult experience when my father was killed when I was a teenager – on the roads – and I did talk about it to bring that lived experience to the roads policing portfolio. After that experience I knew I could probably make a difference and so policing was quite a natural choice for me. Anne-Marie: Thanks Jo. That’s really interesting. A lot of our passionate ways of dealing with issues comes from experience. You’ve served in three forces, Norfolk, Kent and now Sussex which are all quite distinct.  How important has collaboration and partnership been to keeping communities and people safe? CC Shiner: I’m a true believer that in order to make a difference we absolutely have to work together for the road policing strategy together because we all bring very different elements to that. Whether or not it’s road furniture, enforcing speed, education – whatever it is about making our roads safer, unless we work in collaboration and partnership then actually it would be virtually impossible to make our communities – particularly our roads and everyone who uses them – which is virtually everybody – to keep them safe. Anne-Marie: Within the National Police Chiefs’ Council, you currently hold the portfolio for Roads Policing.  The value of roads policing is considerable and often underrated and unappreciated?  How significant is the role in preventing harm? CC Shiner: It’s really interesting that almost 6 people day die on our roads in this country and yet there is not in my opinion a loud enough outcry around that. I find it completely unacceptable that there is that level of death, trauma and tragedy and all those families who live on without their loved one. Or those people have been significantly injured in those collisions and therefore their lives have changed forever - so this portfolio assists with trying to draw the attention to road policing, make sure it’s more amplified in terms of when people are thinking about our wider communities and also appreciate the role that every single person has in  making those roads safer and therefore reducing the number of people who are killed and seriously injured because everyone has a role in that. I’m a huge believer that people must take responsibility for their own actions – so either when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle, or a pedal cycle or a horse or when they are a pedestrian there is an incumbent responsibility to look after those people around us. To drive carefully, to keep an eye out when we are walking, to be road savvy when you’re cycling. That personal responsibility sits on everybody who uses the roads and if we all respect that and take that a bit more seriously I do think we can make our roads safer and that’s what we are trying to amplify within this portfolio. Anne-Marie: I absolutely agree, Jo from being involved in a life-threatening collision myself many years ago which was my route into road safety I can see the ripples of how it damages communities when just a single person is hurt or injured or killed d on the road – and we can do more working together and taking that responsibility for ourselves. I’d like to think about the traffic officers now that actually deal with the incidents.  What has been your experience in Roads Policing from time spent in the specialism to how the welfare of officers who have witnessed or had to deal with serious incidents is managed? CC Shiner: I think welfare generally and I’ll talk across policing but of course for every collision there are many more emergency services and people who are impacted by that. I think it has improved – do I think it’s good enough yet? Probably not. There isn’t level of appreciation of exactly what our emergency services and frontline workers see ad experience when they go to those collisions – sometimes those scenes can be absolutely traumatic. Because we’re seeing post covid a rise in the number of killed and seriously injured collisions, they are difficult to deal with, one of the main thrusts of our strategy is about making sure that we don’t forget those people who have to deal with this day in day out. One of my other national roles is as the ambassador for Oscar Kilo 9 wellbeing dogs. That’s a national policing charity all about wellbeing of our officers & front-line staff and other staff of course across policing. I’m really proud of what we have done around wellbeing dogs because that’s one small way when there are people who have experienced this trauma at an incident we will try and get wellbeing dogs to them very shortly after that because we know it actually helps to talk through what’s happened and it’s a real bonus of wellbeing, but we still have way to go with it Anne-Marie: All emergency services have to deal with traumatic events, and they are human beings, and they have the same feelings and concerns and have to deal with that after the event. The wellbeing dogs initiative sounds fantastic and I hope that gets expanded and if we can help in any way with this in Driving for Better Business please let us know as we’d be delighted to help with that. CC Shiner: It’s been expanded so most forces now have them and just in Sussex we have 17 or 18 now so quite a number and they don’t really cost us very much as they are people’s pets, so it links beautifully with the roads policing portfolio. I think one of the most heated challenges in terms of the trauma particularly for roads policing and family liaison officers is the trauma it gives to the families and loved ones of those who have died. We talk about that ‘knock on the door’ but for those officers to do that to share with a family that their loved has passed away is in itself very traumatic – and so it it’s important that we recognise exactly what we are asking  them to do alongside those teams who absolutely meticulously and forensically in order to get the families the answers they deserve, then investigate those scenes in terms of the wider investigation so we can make sure the coroner but most importantly the loved ones have some idea as to why it happened. Anne-Marie: Thanks Jo. With at least 1 in 3 injury collisions involves someone driving for work, employers have a critical role to play in the safety of drivers and riders.  What do you see as the current trends in the factors in road collisions and how can business and organisations help to reduce the risk on the road? CC Shiner: Employers definitely have that critical role. It comes back to that sense of responsibility and of course the lawful duty they have so it’s very important that corners are not cut, that vehicles their employees are using are safe, it’s really important particularly for delivery drivers and that huge economy that grew during COVID that people are being tempted to break speed limits or to drive dangerously in order they can deliver their work that their bosses are asking them to do – so that responsibility of making sure that both from the vehicle side but also what we are asking those people on the roads to do has critical importance. Employees can really influence that, making sure those vehicles are safe and as up to date as they can be in terms of safety features, but what we also know which is a challenge because the reality is the cost of living is increasing and one of my urges at the moment is to urge people not to cut corners and not to save money when it comes to the safety of their vehicles. It is an obvious place that may happen but by doing that it could cost you much more money and it could cost someone their life. Anne-Marie: Absolutely Jo. Thinking about the more regulated parts of road users, the commercial vehicles, the HGVs - it easy just to do what gets measured and I agree with your ethos about ‘don’t cut corners’ so even if it’s not being measured, if there’s something you can do to improve your safety  but it’s not looked at or checked it’s still important that you do it. Going back to the responsibility – we all have that responsibility as well as employers, the employees that drive the vehicle. So, Police forces are also employers of drivers and riders.  In terms of good management of work-related road risk, what are the good practice stories coming out from the police on this? CC Shiner: We also can have a significant influence in terms of training members of the public as well. There are schemes across the country – bike sense scheme and other awareness schemes which police forces use to great effect. In terms of our own driving, we ask our officers often to drive in quite difficult conditions and of course there is all the assessment and training that goes behind that but within the portfolio we are always looking at how we can make that training better. How we can equip those officers with improved skills to be able to work in that environment – often driving at speed through traffic to answer a 999 urgent call or to go after a vehicle with somebody who is wanted or have been involved in a crime so all for that professional practice, the assessment of how we use that and making sure that we are proportionate in terms of how we drive in emergency conditions I don’t think has ever been more important, particularly related to confidence in policing. All of that is bound up in the national roads policing strategy. We talked earlier about policing our roads together and it’s intrinsically linked to that and preventing harm and saving lives and as important that we prevent harm by driving and making sure those risk assessments and training are good and solid, and officers understand their responsibilities But we do have a duty to tackle crime so one of the spokes of that strategy is understanding what role roads and our officers and staff who use the roads have in tackling crime because there are very few criminals who don’t use the roads. That links with 3rd parties driving technology and innovation because there’s technology that can be introduced to the vehicles and to emergency service vehicles and our own vehicles that we use privately because if we can design out those features which cause accidents or certainly don’t prevent accidents then that’s got to be something we should be driving hard to do. Making sure we are using that innovation - and that also bring challenges. The most important thing linked to this is changing minds. We must change  minds to change behaviours - if you want me to do something, then you’ll need to persuade me why that’s a good idea in the first place and therefore we need to change peoples minds that it is not okay to drive at excess speed, not okay to drive while under the influence of drinks or drugs, its not okay to not wear a seatbelt or to use your mobile phone while driving and it’s not okay to drive antisocially on the roads - it comes back to that personal responsibility so we must continue to influence and change minds so they make the right decision behind the wheel. Anne-Marie: I’ve really enjoyed your insight today. The takeaway is actually it’s a shared responsibility. We all have that responsibility to use the roads appropriately and safely, as well as those that use the roads for business, and as well as the highway authorities who have the responsibility to design, build and maintain the roads so we can use them safely It’s been a pleasure today, Jo. For more information on the charity that the NPCC is supporting with the welfare dogs please visit Driving for Better Business and for all other information about managing your work-related work risk. Thank-you very much Jo.

Friday Jun 17, 2022

Show notes Ashlee Field, DPD Group talks to us on how the road safety culture has been cascaded throughout the organisation - including the sharing of best practice by drivers with their peers. 'We like them to have a conversation with each other on how they’ve improved their driving styles based on telematics and their apps. They can look at what they are doing on the day, and we basically put them at the heart of anything we are implementing or new into DPD.' https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/women-in-transport/ashlee-field/   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast: Ashlee Field - Road Safety and Partnerships Manager, DPDgroup Anne-Marie: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast. In this series we’re celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety. Driving for work is one of the biggest risks to the business. With me today I’m very pleased to introduce Ashlee Field, Road Safety and Partnerships Manager, DPD group UK. Ashlee, welcome to the podcast. How did your passion for improving safety on the road come about? Ashlee: What a great question! Back in 2018 we were asked to provide support to a local school and being an expert organiser I took on the challenge. So, I organised the vehicles, the staff, the content and how we would promote road safety, and all the goodies we took with us. We engaged with over 500 children from reception to year 6 and that started my passion for road safety. Anne-Marie: When you went to the schools did the children really understand what you were telling them? Ashlee: Initially it was difficult – the reception age group was difficult. When you started to get year 1 the engagement increased. One of the things we noticed was that the teachers were flabbergasted to see a truck and trailer on site and they were interested in coming to find out about it. We took onboard the elements of blind spots and making sure you’re visible and standing in the right areas so the driver could see them. They really understood that. Yes, it’s difficult but actually some of what you are teaching them is something they already know, and it gives them an opportunity to see what it looks like from the cab as well. Anne-Marie: Yes, it’s so important to make it real and a brilliant approach you took there. Let’s talk about DPD. What’s the DPD approach to managing work related road risk. How do you monitor driver behaviour without it feeling like Big Brother? Ashlee: There are tons of ways you can look into driver behaviour. The most basic version is the digital tachygraph reader that tells you a lot of things on what might be going on with the drivers on the road. It will also give you potentials like if you have a conversation with that driver it can tell you that the route is not necessarily suitable based on the fact there’s road works or additional traffic or the times they hit it are not convenient because there are schools in the area – it’s worth having a conversation with the driver first and foremost. Some of what we do is data based like telematics, monitoring harsh braking, hash acceleration and fuel economy. Other things are in cab cameras – these show you things from the road view such as dash cam footage and you also get a view in the cab as well, so it’s a good way of looking at it. One of the things we are quite keen on is being open and honest with our drivers, so we encourage sharing of best practice with peers. We like them to have a conversation with each other on how they’ve improved their driving styles based on telematics and their apps. They can look at what they are doing on the day, and we basically put them at the heart of anything we are implementing or new into DPD. We are lucky at DPD that the drivers know we monitor their driving to improve their driving styles and it gives them better coping strategies on the road which gives us a better version of our Driver CPC and it means they are doing a smoother journey which is important to them. Anne-Marie: Brilliant. I like the idea of really involving the driver sin changing the overall behaviour and approach to driving – and sharing the practice is what we need to do more often. We know there’s been a rise in home deliveries & the additional demand this must6 place on companies must be huge. How does DPD handle the conflicting pressures of safety and timed deliveries. Ashlee: Home deliveries have skyrocketed. It’s been a very difficult 2 years and everybody across any version of delivery or collection has felt that. At DPD we have an exceptional planning team and stae of the art tech to plan routes and time deliveries effectively, so all of our routes are planned so that the driver has enough time to complete delivery or collection, have their legal breaks and complete any other tasks like refuelling or charging the vehicle. It is not always easy to plan for everything like accidents and additional traffic due to roadworks that have gone on longer than planned or events that are happening all disrupt everyone’s schedules. What we do is plan for the maximum amount of time for travel between delivery and collection points which means they have more time hopefully. In terms of back end when they have breaks, they have more time to sit down and relax before they go back on the road and then it plans for the typical traffic flow. If for example you look on Google maps it says your travel time – we always give the maximum suggested time for travel. I would always advocate you follow the traffic flow of the area and you’re aware of that. One of the last things we rely on is the drivers themselves. It’s their route, their area, they are well versed as to what is going on in their area and they will always know the best way to get through a situation - traffic or accident – so always go back to the drivers and have a conversation with them because they can tell you the best way around it. Anne-Marie: Great advice. The impact on actual customers is minimised as well – so customer service doesn’t go down in your opinion? Ashlee: Yes – it’s at the heart of what we do – the end point. Things like the app has enabled us to add more time needed to the end customer, so drivers know that the person needs more time to come to the door and things like that. The end customer needs to be aware that ‘look out your window, there’s a lot of traffic!’ Anne-Marie: Let’s talk about awards you’ve won. The corporate safety award from the Institute of Couriers and Road Safety in the Community Award as part of the Brake Fleet Safety Awards are just 2. What made the community award so special? Ashlee: They are fantastic awards and I’m exceptionally proud of them. It was my first year in road safety, so I was really proud of them. I think it’s important to give back to the community as a resident and as a worker. My job takes me across the UK, so I am going into different areas all the time, and I think it’s important to give back. We’ve got around 13,000 drivers delivering or collecting parcels around the UK over a 24 hour period which is massive. Most of these pass through our 5 hubs in the Midlands and 2 of the biggest hubs are in Leicestershire and until 2015 we didn’t have a huge presence in that area. I wanted to create a partnership with the community to let them know what we offer, what benefits we give to the local area, and given the recent influx of DPD vans and trucks, education in the local community on our vehicles was a top priority for me and raising awareness of road safety is always invaluable. Since 2019 we’ve engaged with over 5000 people across the UK – that’s just community side, not anything internal. We also have the community fund at DPD which enables any of our DPD people to request funding to support local charities and causes. Anne-Marie: Such a worthwhile thing to do. We talked about the work you do with schools and colleges. How does this benefit the students and their future employers? Ashlee: I am all over this. I engage in the future workforce aspect. I do my best to spend time with our future workforce, so I’ve signed up to be an ambassador for T Levels – have a look at the government website – basically it’s another route to post-16 studying, similar to an A Level or college course giving you additional on the job experience - about 40 days on the job. There are only about 11 routes, but they are looking to expand that in the future. I am also an enterprise advisor at a local school in the Leicestershire enterprise programme providing business support to the school on career guidance so I attend a virtual call or meeting or go into the school, and we look at ways they can improve their career guidance. From a business perspective it’s also how DPD can encourage other businesses to help the school with career guidance as well. I attend events at schools and colleges like mock interviews, speed networking relating heavily to STEM subjects which is a huge focus for anyone who works in logistics and transport so that’s another thing I try to do. For me, that gives the students practical experience of talking to a human being that works in this side of the environment, which also gives the students opportunities to explore avenues they haven’t explored before. We can showcase the other opportunities and career paths at DPD which I think is fantastic. Anne-Marie: How do you manage to do all of this within 24 hours a day?? You’re clearly passionate about road safety and you’re making differences where you’re working, so what benefits does DPD see from promoting road safety in the work you’ve done? Ashlee: Road safety benefits are subtle It’s one of those things that you have avoided an accident which you never knew you were going to have is the best way to put it. This is how I explain it to my senior management team. Improving road safety is a continuous strategy. Something you promote and educate but it needs to have a direct link to the business and it’s important to remember that. Road safety is a subject area that is so broad and it’s hard to narrow down to business specifically. I look at collision rates, incident rates, vehicle damage - why has that vehicle been damaged that way? Can we minimise that? What that does is minimise road risk, so a lot of what we do relates back to the DPD culture – which has existed before me - DVSA recognition status and that shows we’re obviously committed to improving and we are honest with them about what’s going on. Internally we look at our commitment with our audits – looking at what we can improve and what we can review and that goes for our policies and procedures as well. We try to remain up to date with what’s going on with road safety. Improving road safety on the roads basically reduces your incident rates, your vehicle damage, your costs, and ensures you minimise road risk and the best way to work that out is through your insurance details. They will tell you and help you in figuring out how that links back to your business directly. Anne-Marie: One final question – how easy it is for other organisations to have a road safety advocate in their organisation? Ashlee: There’s always someone who will have a passion for it same as I have. I would encourage where possible to harness that passion – support them and allow them to develop with links to internal and external stakeholders. It’s really important you talk to the people you’re working with internally – who you’re trying to influence and why. Make friends with departments and organisations that can improve your road safety management- like Driving for Better Business – I’m an absolute advocate for you guys as we share the same passion and it gives you ideas to help spread that creativity in terms of road safety. Be prepared for long term goals – it’s not a quick thing. Results don’t happen overnight - it takes data analysis, research, stakeholder reengagement and that’s before the intervention even goes live. My last point is road safety improves best when there’s a solid plan and everyone is willing to engage and advocate to gain results. Although you may have one person that works on road safety – it’s still everybody’sresponsibility. Annemarie: Ashlee, Thank you – brilliant and sound advice. Thanks for joining us today – and if people want to know more about Driving for Better Business and the benefits to managing and reducing your road risk take a look at the websitewww.drivingforbetterbusiness.com

Tuesday May 17, 2022

Show notes Driving for Better Business Women in Transport Podcast: Astrid Van Der Burgt, Holcim Group. In this podcast series we’re celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety and today I’m very pleased to introduce Astrid Van Der Burgt, Head of Road Safety at Holcim, who talks about the initiatives Holcim have in place to reduce road risk, as well as the success of the Women on Wheels project. https://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/podcast/women-in-transport/astrid-van-der-burgt/ Useful links Astrid van der Burgt - LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/astridvanderburgt/ Women on wheels in Nigeriahttps://www.holcim.com/who-we-are/our-stories/women-wheels-nigeria Women on wheels in Nigeriahttps://www.holcim.com/who-we-are/our-stories/women-wheels-nigeria Women on wheels in Ugandahttps://www.holcim.com/media/media-releases/uganda-women-wheels Women in Transporthttps://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/women-in-transport/   Transcript DfBB Women in Transport Podcast: Astrid Van Der Burgt, Holcim Group Anne-Marie: Welcome to the Driving for Better Business podcast. In this series we’re celebrating women working in transport, fleet management, and road safety and today I’m very pleased to introduce Astrid Van Der Burgt, Head of Road Safety at Holcim. Astrid, welcome to the podcast. You have an interesting career history. How did you get into transport safety?   Astrid: Thanks so much for having me. I worked in logistics all my working life and married into logistics – this resulted me working as a transport manager, maintenance manager, customer service and also as a driver. This meant I learned what a difference safety awareness makes to drivers. If you give drivers the tools to make the right decision behind the wheel, this makes a difference to them – makes sure they go home to their families at the end of the working day. This gives me really a lot of job satisfaction. This mantra of giving drivers the tools to make the right decisions has been my guide all through my career.   Anne-Marie: You’ve talked about giving drivers the tools – what has worked well for you?   Astrid: Certainly, in Holcim we operate in such a diverse market, and we take it for granted in the UK and in Europe that people know how to drive a truck, but that is not always the case in other markets like Sub Saharan Africa or India so it’s been a 3 pronged approach. We train drivers to make sure they have the knowledge and the skills to operate the vehicle and tackle the road situations, we have telematics installed in vehicles so we can monitor driving behaviour, and then the most crucial point, we give feedback to the drivers. We talk to them – ‘okay you had harsh braking, speeding – what happened and how could you prevent this happening in the future?’ They have this awareness that they can have an influence on the outcome of their driving day.   Anne-Marie: Interesting – it’s not about catching people out and I think you’re right – that feedback bit is just about trying to raise their knowledge and understanding on the influence they have on that road space   Astrid: Absolutely, we celebrate successes as well. If a driver does well it’s recognised, and if a driver does exceptionally well it’s rewarded – driver of the month, driver of the year programme, with some financial rewards. Even a good student likes to hear they’re doing well, it’s not just pulling up those that are underperforming.   Anne-Marie: As well as creating job, opportunities, and growth, tell us about the Women on Wheels project.   Astrid: Yes, this project has been so interesting. It was very much an idea for sustainability and innovation, and we had an inaugural programme in Uganda to increase diversity in driver population. They had decided they wanted to operate their own fleet, and right from the beginning they said let’s create parity and diversity. It’s been a huge success. The aim is not just to influence country management teams, so they understand women are an option, but also to make it a global approach where we embed search, hire and retention of women drivers into our recruitment strategyReally, we are trying to fight the myth – there’s no reason why women shouldn’t be truck drivers. The days are over when trucks were unwieldy beasts to operate. We need to be aware there are still some challenges. There is safety and security – safe parking, rest houses, that we have ‘home at night’ trips, and in terms of emergencies so we know if there’s an adequate response time – and work/life balance. Flexibility for childcare, family commitments, and my personal number one is hygiene, decent bathrooms for women to use on the road. It is the logical way forward for us at Holcim. We have the programme in a number of countries, and we hope to double the number of female drivers by the end of the year. In Uganda they have moved to phase 2 – not just gender parity in their fleet but also with their major transport partners – having the same in their fleet. The business case is there – apart from the safety aspect – a 7% increase in kilometres without any violations such as speeding, harsh braking, but they have also seen 6% better fuel consumption 15% lower maintenance, 12% better turnaround times and the customers love it – they are requesting our female drivers because they know it will arrive on time and with a smile. Anne-Marie: Alongside Women on Wheels, partnership and collaboration is a big part of your role… Astrid: You can’t do yourselves – working with the experts has helped us, particularly in the Women on Wheels programme. We have to work with other organisations to build the credibility of the programme – the training schools, truck manufacturers, government bodies, NGOs to create this partnership. It makes it more sustainable when each party has a vested interest. In South Africa we work with a truck manufacturer and a training school. At the end of the driving training, they then receive business acumen training and we help them to set up business with favourable truck financing, they get a contract for a couple of years work to get their business started. All parties win – we have reliable transporters, the truck manufacturer wins, and the driving school gets more business, and the women themselves have all the tools for success. Anne-Marie: I love the idea that as well as creating jobs it is creating opportunities and growth and help for people all over in those countries. What are some of the personal stories? Astrid: There are so many – I love to hear them. It’s the best bit of my job. You receive messages from a son of a lady truck driver – ‘I saw your profile on Facebook it was my Mum that you spoke to and she loves to be a truck driver…’ but the two stories that stand out for me – in countries where you least expect a women to be a truck driver. In Kenya a lady had 3 children, one at university, one at secondary school and one at primary school. She was so proud to tell me she was independent and on her own raising her family – because of the consistent income from the truck driving job she was paying all their school fees.One of the female truck drivers in Uganda – she kept seeing this particular police officer who observed her nearly every day, eventually she was stopped and she expected it to be papers, insurance etc, but instead she was offered a basket with food, drinks by this police officer, because he had never seen a female truck driver in his life and he was really pleased to see it. Anne-Marie: Building resilience for those families – I love the way it’s changing perspectives. How do you think it’s been perceived in these communities? Astrid: I think it’s been positively because of the opportunities and growth its creating and the fact that it makes these women independent. We are now venturing into the Middle East and in one of the countries there they are looking at setting up the programme which would be the most incredible thing ever to have a Women on Wheels programme in that type of environment. ‘Women should be staying at home looking after the family’ – it’s changed – people are realising that is not the case anymore. Women can do this. Anne-Marie: Astrid if people want to learn know about Women in Wheels and Holcim where should they go? Astrid: We have a website Holcim.com and if you type in ‘women on wheels’ or Uganda you will find these stories and all the information is there. Of course, people can find me on LinkedIn and ping me a message and I’d be happy to share what we do and how we are structuring this. Anne-Marie: Astrid, thank-you so much and if you’re listening to this and want to know more about ‘Women in Transport’ visit the Driving for Better Business website – Drivingforbetterbusiness.com Useful links Astrid van der Burgt - LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/astridvanderburgt/ Women on wheels in Nigeriahttps://www.holcim.com/who-we-are/our-stories/women-wheels-nigeria Women on wheels in Nigeriahttps://www.holcim.com/who-we-are/our-stories/women-wheels-nigeria Women on wheels in Ugandahttps://www.holcim.com/media/media-releases/uganda-women-wheels Women in Transporthttps://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/women-in-transport/    

Monday Mar 07, 2022

Show notes Driving for Better Business is marking International Women’s Day (8 March), launching a year of videos, podcasts and features, and teaming up with Women in Transport, a non-for-profit promotional, professional-development and support group. Women make up 47 per cent of the UK workforce yet remain underrepresented in the transport sector, accounting for only 20 per cent of workers. However, this is changing steadily, and women are represented at every level. Driving for Better Business is a National Highways programme led by Anne-Marie Penny*, Senior Road Safety Policy Adviser, who says: “This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the thousands of women who work in this sector, from CEOs of large multinational corporates, national and local government officials, directors of influential safety charities, freelancers, apprentices and everything between. Transport – like all areas of life – benefits from a diverse range of influences to best serve everyone.” Through the Driving for Better Business programme, those organisations which collectively employ millions of staff who drive for work have access to a range of free tools and resources for employers, along with examples of good practice and strong leadership. Women in Transport provides a varied and lively events programme with access to thought leaders, senior stakeholders and professional trainers. As the Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group for women in transport, it is committed to working with the UK government to increase the representation of women in the transport sector. Sonya Byers, CEO of Women in Transport says: “We are delighted to be teaming up with the National Highways Driving for Better Business programme to celebrate women’s achievements in the transport and fleet industry over the coming year. With this year's International Women's Day theme of #BreaktheBias, we have a wonderful opportunity to raise the visibility of talent we have at every level of transport from women just starting their career to senior leaders - and to showcase the diversity of opportunity in the transport sector."   Transcript Becky: Hello and welcome to this interview to mark International Women’s Day in the world of transport.   I’m Becky Hadley and I work with some fantastic organisations in transport and road safety.   One of those is Driving for Better Business. It helps companies reduce the risk their employees face when using the roads for work.   Another great organisation is Women in Transport. This is a not-for-profit member’s group that offers professional development and support and now has nearly 1000 members.   And the good news is that Driving for Better Business has teamed up with Women in Transport to celebrate International Women’s Day.   Driving for Better Business is led by Anne-Marie Penny.   Anne-Marie, tell me a little bit about your role, and how did you get into transport and road safety   Annemarie: Hi Becky. Thank-you. I’ve been in road safety for nearly 2 decades. I was on the other side of road safety for many years as an avid motorcyclist and everything changed when I had a bike crash. I realised I had responsibilities as well and that changed my thinking. 20 years ago, a job came up in road safety and I thought I could talk about that. Here I am years later, and I feel passionate about saving peoples lives on the road. I joined National Highways 5 years ago and my main role is looking at Driving for Better Business and helping employers to meet their duty of care to make sure their drivers are acting as they should on the road. It also has great benefits to business as well, if we’re doing everything right in the management of our drivers, so it’s really important to get things right and I love my job.   Becky: And how is DfBB getting involved in International Women’s Day this year?   Annemarie: We’re marking International Women’s Day with the launch of a year of videos, podcasts, and features, looking at influential, and successful women in and around the transport sector. There are many women doing things extremely well. They’re a part of our workforce we’re really proud of. Sometimes the choices for women as they come into the workplace are not always in the transport sector. We hope to inspire people to think about the transport sector – as a woman you could make a real difference in that sector.   Becky: So what’s the idea of the campaign?   Annemarie: Women make up about 47 per cent of the UK workforce yet they are underrepresented in the transport sector, it’s about 20 per cent I think of the workforce are women.   There’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of the thousands of women who work in and make a difference in this sector, from the youngest and newest employees on apprenticeships right the way through to successful CEOs of large multinational corporates, small business, large business, private and public sectors – but there’s really a lot we can highlight here. We want to put the spotlight to inspire people to think about their choices and how they can make a difference.   Becky: So what will this campaign look like? Who will Driving for Better Business be interviewing?   Annie: We’re running through 2022 and we’ve got a whole list of women we’ve approached to take part – we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. So, we’re going to have podcasts like this one, interviews and ‘days in the life of’ just showing the type of work that women do in the sector and just highlighting the influence that women can have, and the good practice. We often look at the transport sector as a male dominated environment but making it more diverse means it can be more successful, and women can contribute to that success.   Becky: You mentioned women right at the very top of organisation. To what extent is leadership part of managing road safety?   Annemarie: Driving for Better Business is all about good leadership and good practice – we work with employers to influence them to make the best choices. Women are leading as fleet managers, as CEOs – that’s a really important role to play and we’ve got great examples in the podcasts and articles coming up that show women in leadership roles being the exemplar in managing risk on the road, to reduce injury, to reduce all the horrible stuff that comes with road crashes and casualties. So leadership from women in the transport sector and road safety – absolutely important.   Becky: So, tell me a few more of the women you have lined up for about the interviews you’ve got coming up   Annemarie -So we’ll be at the Health and Safety Event at the NEC 5th to 7th April. Driving for Better Business will be hosting the Driver Safety Zone. We will have Nina Day from the HSE, Alison Moriarty from Drive who is a risk management specialist in fleets, and Dr Gemma Briggs who again is a specialist in driver distraction so we’ve got 3 really key people to begin with. On the Thursday we will be hosting a panel discussion on risk management and 2 of our panel are women – really good women in action   Becky: Driving for Better Business is part of National Highways. How do NH support women in their careers?   Annemarie: – It’s a great organisation to work at in terms of their flexibility and their support for women, Many women are part timers when they come back after a career break to have children so it’s great to know they support you. We have our own Leading Women Group within the organisation so there are people you can turn to for advice and guidance at all levels.   Becky: Does National Highways have any women as patrol officers?   Annemarie: Yes, we do – I can’t tell you how many, but we do have women in those roles. We have women in our regional control centres – women are throughout the National Highways organisation – lots of different roles and right up to the top as Executive Directors   Becky: Where can people find these podcasts an articles?   Annemarie: You mentioned we are teaming up with Women in Transport – they’ll be signposted on their website, and they’ll be on the DfBB website – drivingforbetterbusiness.com – and we will have the features and articles readily available   Becky: That’s wonderful news - finally, what would be your advice to any woman thinking of coming into a career in the transport sector, which is heavily male dominated?   Annemarie: Sometimes that can be quite scary. Maybe you don’t always feel confident in that environment but the transport sector is a great environment - the different roles are so varied. Women should feel that actually, there are role models who can show them how they worked through challenges, to achieve success. It’s about thinking about career choices and how they come into this sector bringing their knowledge and experience – different and new ideas. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the sector or been here for a long time. There’s a place for you here.   Becky: And, of course, any woman can join Women in Transport – there’s plenty of opportunities for mentoring, learning, support groups and it’s a great chance to meet likeminded individuals in the sector. Come and join us – Happy International Women’s Day for all women around in transport.


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