Last reviewed 25 January 2021
To recognise that passenger-carrying industries may face significant challenges in the coming months, the Senior Traffic Commissioner has issued temporary guidance to the Traffic Commissioners on the way they carry out their regulatory duties during this period.
Available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-commissioners-contingency-and-emergency-planning-covid-19, this has now been updated by additional advice and will remain subject to change as the response to the pandemic develops.
The most recent update can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-heavy-goods-and-public-service-vehicle-operators-covid-19.
It includes information for operators on the importance of drivers being properly qualified in certain circumstances for the carriage of school children as well as updated advice on bus registrations in England, particularly during the current period of restrictions.
With regard to the first point, the latest guidance seeks to answer the question: “As a result of social distancing measures can I operate a duplicate vehicle on a normal stopping service but reserve it for school children?”
The reply indicates that, in these exceptional circumstances, it is permissible for an operator to run a duplicate vehicle on a normal stopping service reserved for school children only.
On the second point, the Commissioner has been asked about the situation where operators are unable to run their registered services or wish to urgently register new services to assist in the transportation of essential workers.
The revised document advises that operators seeking to reduce or stop a service for a temporary period should consider lodging a variation application (akin to a holiday service) where the registration automatically reverts back to the original route timetable at the expiry of the given period.
Representatives of operators and local authorities may be consulted and will be given no less than 84-days notice of the date that the services must revert.