Friday, February 8, 2019

Hero Driver Wins Big at Freight Transport Van Driver Excellence Awards  

Feats Include Rescue from Motorway Crashes

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Shipping News Feature UK – This week saw the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) 2018 Van Excellence Honours celebrated with 14 of the UK’s finest van operators and drivers collecting their Awards in a glittering ceremony sponsored by Mercedes-Benz Vans. The awards recognise and reward the van operators and drivers who have made a significant contribution to the van industry. The prestigious Van Excellence Champion Award went to Graham Davies from Electricity North West and Mark Cartwright, Head of Vans and Light Commercial Vehicles at the FTA commented:

“With more than 4.3 million vans on Britain’s roads, and the numbers increasing every year, it is important to recognise and reward the operators and drivers leading the way in excellence. All the winners, and highly commended entrants, place safety and compliance at the heart of their operations; they set a high standard for others to follow and can now take their place as the ‘best of best’ in the business. Van operators and drivers play an essential, and highly versatile, role in the UK economy, and it is high time their contributions are acknowledged.”

The big winner on the night was without doubt the man collecting the Hero of the Year Award, John Barter, an Ocado driver who helped to rescue casualties from four separate collisions. John, whose heroic actions include pulling an injured driver out of her car after her petrol tank burst during a multi-vehicle crash on the motorway, commented:

“It was a great privilege to be able to help these individuals when they needed it most. I love van driving and the fact that my first aid training and road experience means I can help people in need is a great satisfaction to me. I would like to thank the team at Ocado for their ongoing support, and I am so honoured my colleagues nominated me for this award.”

David Sturmey, of Qi Van Systems, and Peter Williams, of James Hall Couriers, both received ‘highly commended’ accolades. The awards, also sponsored by AA, Bott, Brigade Electronics, Hertz, Lex Autolease and Quartix, were presented at the Van Excellence Honours at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Birmingham. Mark Cartwright concluded:

“I have the utmost respect for John Barter. He showed great leadership, calm and bravery in the face of crisis. His actions significantly aided the victims’ recoveries. Heroes come in unexpected places; van drivers should not be underestimated.”

Photo: John Barter collects his award.

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