Last reviewed 19 March 2020
Seeking to support the transport industry through flexible working practices and a proportionate approach, the Traffic Commissioners have published a new Statutory Document: COVID-19: Contingency and Emergency Planning.
This can be found at assets.publishing.service.gov.uk and sets out the approach that Traffic Commissioners will adopt in response to the current coronavirus outbreak in Great Britain.
The Document states: “It is not possible to envisage every situation which might occur during the current outbreak, but this may extend from a temporary shortage of drivers or transport managers to the possible loss of access to an Operating Centre.”
In the section devoted to Bus Registrations, it is suggested that, in the event of widespread disruption, operators who need to change their local bus service registrations at short notice should be encouraged to apply using those provisions which allow for circumstances that could not reasonably have been foreseen or to meet an urgent and exceptional public passenger transport requirement.
Operators who need to change their local bus service registrations at short notice to allow for a temporary variation of services will be also encouraged to apply using those provisions which allow for circumstances that could not reasonably have been foreseen or to meet an urgent and exceptional public passenger transport requirement.
The temporary variation might be treated as akin to a holiday service, the Document notes, where the registration automatically reverts back to the original route timetable at the expiry of the given period.
The Document also considers Community Passenger Transport and makes clear that, in the circumstances where there is exceptional demand for instance to transfer patients or a loss of capability, Traffic Commissioners may see applications to provide services through community transport arrangements.