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400 PUBLIC AUTHORITIES JOIN TRANSPORT CHATROOM

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The Freight Transport Association has just registered the 400th local authority to sign up to its online discussion...
The Freight Transport Association has just registered the 400th local authority to sign up to its online discussion group, the Public Authority Transport Network. Wokingham DC is PATN member number 400 and David Wilby, transport manager for the council becomes one of over 600 public authority staff using the service.

Formed in 2001, the PATN is a members-only internet forum for transport managers working in local authorities, NHS trusts and similar organisations. It provides the opportunity for the passage of ideas and information, and views and opinions, amongst its members - all from the comfort of their own desk or laptop.

Founder of the PATN was Phil Clifford, fleet manager, St Edmundsbury BC, who operates a fleet of vehicles which includes anything from mowers to large refuse vehicles, along with tractors, rollers, vans and trailers.

He says: 'The PATN has surpassed my expectations and become an essential tool for the public sector transport manager. Continual growth confirms the usefulness of this facility and it enables managers from a variety of organisations to develop and share best practice from the comfort of their desk.'

The only criterion for PATN membership is that the public authority should be a current FTA member.

FTA sector head (local authorities) Chris Ruane says: 'The beauty of the PATN is that it seems that whatever the problem somebody, somewhere, has seen it before, and can offer advice! You are never on your own if you are tuned in to the PATN.'

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