Yelloway Coaches is the latest member of the industry to join the DVSA Earned Recognition (ER) scheme. It was accredited on 28 January.
While General Manager James Warburton describes preparation for the ER audit as “a mammoth task,” he points out that work to achieve and maintain the status falls on all members of a business, including drivers, engineering staff and management. Acceptance of Yelloway Coaches has provided a useful morale boost around the Oldham firm, he continues.
Although Yelloway’s preparations to join ER were disrupted by COVID-19, the period during the pandemic was used to develop and fine-tune policies. Driver training has been a particular area of focus. Staff are given tuition on first-use checks, PSVAR, drivers’ hours and tachograph use and vehicle-as-a-weapon and vehicle weight awareness, among other areas.
“We have created a document around vehicle weights,” he continues. “It is a back-to-basics approach, but what we have found important is that an accurate fuel mass is considered. It is possible that if the tank is filled to the brim, GVW or permitted front axle weight could be exceeded if the coach is heavily loaded.”
All KPIs relevant to ER are shared at Yelloway’s depot, a move that has led to a realisation among staff that they each have a role to play in retaining accreditation. “They can see that them doing their jobs correctly made the difference in helping us to gain ER status,” he continues.
As with coach operators that are already ER members, Mr Warburton advises others that may be considering applying to go ahead. “Being part of the scheme gives a great incentive to keep standards high, and it is something that I believe will become mandatory in the future.”
Other coach operators to join ER in 2022 are Eavesway Travel and National Express Transport Solutions subsidiaries Clarkes of London, The Kings Ferry and Woods Coaches.