Great freight operators recognised

A scheme to recognise safe and responsible freight operators in the North East has honoured the best in the industry.

The North East Freight Partnership, which is overseen and supported by the North East Combined Authority (neca) handed out its second annual awards at the partnership’s latest meeting at the Port of Tyne headquarters.

Each year the partnership offers a programme of activities, including training and promotion of best practice as part of its ongoing efforts to promote safe, efficient and sustainable freight operations in the region.

For the last two years the partnership has held awards to recognise freight operators and drivers who have made a significant contribution towards this aim.

Driver Andy Mitchell, who works for Elddis Transport, based in Leadgate, County Durham, was named Driver of the Year.

Now in his seventies, Andy has worked for Elddis for nearly 45 years and continues to work three days a week as a Class 1 HGV driver.

Over the years he has clocked up a distance of almost four and a half million miles and boasts an excellent safety record.

Nigel Cook managing director of family-run Elddis Transport, said: “Starting with my grandfather, Andy has worked for three generations of my family and his loyalty, work rate and ethic and his continued enthusiasm for the job are an example to us all.”

AG Barr took the coveted title of Operator of the Year, reflecting the company’s commitment to the partnership.

Colin Gransbury, depot manager at the company’s Newcastle branch, said: “Road safety is a vital part of our operations and driver training as we strive to deliver a great distribution service to hundreds of retail customers in the North East.

“We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of the work we are undertaking with the partnership, which helps to make our roads safer for everyone.”

John Bourn, senior specialist transport planner at the North East Combined Authority, said: “The aim of the Freight Partnership is to promote safe and sustainable freight transport and we wish to recognise drivers and operators who have gone the extra mile to achieve this.

“It was a tough decision however, as there are so many excellent freight companies and drivers in the region.”

Further information about the North East Freight Partnership is available at