The Secretary of State for Transport has confirmed that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the time limit for Local Authorities to consult on short notice applications for temporary variations of services has been reduced from 28 days to 24 hours.
Operators will be able to send applications to both the Traffic Commissioner and relevant Local Authority at the same time and fees will be waived for applications on the condition that the service returns to the previously registered timetable following the outbreak.
Operators will still be required to notify the relevant Local Authority, however, in the absence of objections being lodged within the 24-hour period from receipt of the application, the Traffic Commissioner will consider the notification requirements have been met.
On expiry of the 24-hour period, operators can assume grant of the application to temporarily vary the registration by the Traffic Commissioner.
Email applications will only need to include limited information as set out below:
Cancelling a service
Permanent cancellations of services can be applied for using email alone.
Varying an existing service
Operators are encouraged to make use of the provision to temporarily vary a service registration by either not running it for a period of time, changing the frequency of the timetable or altering the route.
Amended frequency – the operator should provide an email advising of the proposed date of amendment and the date when the previous registered service is to recommence. A timetable should also be included of the revised service.
Amended route – in addition to the email set out above the operator should include a revised timetable and route map.
Temporary cessation of service – the operator must provide an email advising of the proposed introduction of the change and the date that the previously registered service is to recommence.
Temporary variations can either be submitted with a defined end date after which they revert to the previously registered timetable or with the following wording:
“Variation is to be in place until otherwise notified or until 31 August 2020 whichever is the earliest date”
If the variation is not time limited (as set out above) or there are any form of permanent change to the previous registered timetable on recommencement, the operator will be required to provide further details at a later date. The Office of the Traffic Commissioner will contact you with the requirements.
If an operator uses the Electronic Bus Service Registration system they can notify the traffic commissioner of temporary variations using the method set out above.
Registering a new service
If an operator wishes to register a new service they will need to complete an ‘Application to Register a Bus Service’ PSV350 form and submit it by email along with the registered particulars usually required.
A request to register a new local bus service will still be subject to the usual fee. Once the Traffic Commissioner has recorded the application an email will be sent to the operator advising that payment can now be made online.
Contact the Regulatory team on 01254 828300 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.