Last reviewed 12 November 2020

The Traffic Commissioners have updated the advice note issued to assist transport operators during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The updates include changes to the process for temporary Local Bus Service Registration variations in England, Scotland and Wales. The provision to allow short notice temporary variations will now continue beyond 4 January 2021 in view of the continuing uncertainty facing operators.

This provision will be reviewed on 1 March 2021.

A further change is that, after 10 months of the fee being waived, the £60 registration fee will be reintroduced for any temporary changes made from 4 January 2021. In England and Scotland, there will be changes to the notification periods from 4 January 2021.

In addition, the updated advice note covers: clarification of when a vehicle is off the road during periods of lockdown for the purposes of maintenance; and recognition of the extension of the furlough scheme until 31 March 2021.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Advice for Heavy Goods and Public Service Vehicle Operators can be found at assets.publishing.service.gov.uk.

“It is important that operators ensure that they continue to maintain safety standards during this period and realise that regulatory action may be taken if unsafe practices are reported to the Traffic Commissioner,” it warns.

The advice note answers a number of questions including:

  • Can I temporarily operate more vehicles than authorised under my goods vehicle operator’s licence to meet an urgent public demand?

  • Due to restrictions on movement I no longer have access to my operating centre. What steps do I need to take?

  • My vehicles are not being used during a period of lockdown. Do I have to carry out a pre-use inspection before I put them into use again?

It also examines issues such as, due to challenging trading conditions, an operator being unable to meet the requirement to be of the appropriate financial standing.