Last reviewed 1 December 2020

In July, the Government launched “a national conversation” about the future of transport regulation (see Bus Users’ views on the Future of Transport Regulatory Review).

Having received over 1000 replies, the Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have issued a response document which can be found at assets.publishing.service.gov.uk.

This summarises the points raised by respondents and sets out next steps in more detail.

One of the main sections in the original Call for Evidence sought views on flexible bus service regulations asking, for example, if an updated regulatory framework for flexible bus services should allow for each category of service to be regulated differently.

It also asked what sort of fare structure should apply to flexible bus services, whether the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) should be adjusted to accommodate the development of flexible bus services and whether there should be less rigid registration requirements around notice periods for flexible bus services.

“It is clear from the responses that, while answering in the first instance about flexible bus services, many believe several areas within the wider bus, taxi and PHV (private hire vehicle) sectors need reform,” the response document states. “For instance, many respondents suggested that the BSOG should apply to flexible bus services, but then highlighted how it needs more wholesale reform in order to align with the Government’s priorities.”

The forthcoming National Bus Strategy will look at these various issues at a sector-wide level, the DfT and BEIS said.