Last reviewed 28 June 2021

The Department for Transport (DfT) has been urged to find a solution to the issues coach operators are experiencing as they struggle to meet the demand for coaches compliant with the Passenger Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR).

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned that there are not enough “accessible” coaches to meet the needs of home-to-school services which could mean buses being deployed in the coming school year.

“We’re determined to ensure that the safety which coach travel provides isn’t undermined,” the Association said, “and that the use of buses — which often don’t have seat belts — is not appropriate in most instances.”

While it has highlighted that the industry is committed to full accessibility, the RHA has stressed that this cannot be achieved through coach design alone. The correct passenger embarking infrastructure plays a key role in making journeys accessible, it has argued.

The Association has warned the DfT that certainty is needed around the ending of exemptions in July so that operators, schools, local authorities and parents can plan ahead.

Working with its members, the RHA plans to publish recommendations for long-term resolutions to the issues coach operators are experiencing with PSVAR.