The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently issued a consultation on the use of section 19 and section 22 permits for community transport. Since 1985, all community transport groups operating on a not-for-profit basis have been able to apply for permits to carry passengers in a bus or minibus without holding a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence that would otherwise have been required.
Most community transport operators will be aware of the concerns that have recently been raised that some permit holders are competing with commercial operators who are required to hold a PSV operator licence. This use is prohibited by EU law which only allows operators to be exempt from holding a licence in limited circumstances.
The purpose of the consultation is to determine how to clarify domestic law and guidance to ensure fair competition for commercial contracts and provide greater clarity for operators as to their EU legal obligations. The consultation makes it clear that the government has no plans to end the current permit system.
The DfT are asking community transport operators and local authorities that directly provide community transport services to provide information about how they operate. The consultation can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/section-19-and-22-permits-how-to-apply-eu-regulation-10712009 and operators have until 4 May 2018 to respond.
Please contact a member of our regulatory team on 01254 828300 if you would like further information.