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Totalkare 2019
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June 10 2019
By Peter Bradley

Peter is Director of Administration and Development at the London Tourist Coach Operators Association (LTCOA).

The LTCOA is a trade association whose objective is to promote the business case for coach operators and affiliated businesses within the London area. The responsibilities include:

- Articulate the priorities of the Association members;
- Lobby key individuals in local government, Transport for London, the CPT and the trade to advance the Association’s agenda;
- Organise all the administration associated with a trade body;
- Present a professional and progressive image for the Association;
- Continue to develop the association to retain its position as the trade body for tourist coach operators in London.

PSVAR and LEZ – are you ready for 2020?

Regulation changes are coming. Ensure you check your operations to remain compliant

There are always challenges facing those involved in running coaches, as local and national legislation/policies are implemented, but I am worried that the message on two specific issues has not yet registered with all who may be impacted.

Regulation changes can be a lot to get your head around

PSVAR Changes

If you are running any kind of scheduled coach service, whether directly or under a contact to a third party, the final requirement from the PSV Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) of 2000 and 2005 is due to be implemented on 1 January 2020.

Broadly, any coach used on a scheduled service from the start of next year must provide wheelchair access and meet the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) regulations in such areas as step dimensions/markings, seat dimensions and handrails.

This does not just refer to scheduled coach services that are available to the general public.

If you are operating a ‘closed’ school service, picking students up on route and charging fares individually, and especially if it is registered either with the Traffic Commissioner or Transport for London, then these are included too.

Services that are not local or scheduled services (and therefore not covered by the PSVAR requirements) have to meet the following:

  • All passengers are taken to or from the same location
  • The service is not advertised in advance to the general public
  • The same fare is charged irrespective of distance travelled
  • Someone other than the operator is responsible for bringing the passengers together.

In addition, they cannot serve bus stops that have traffic orders attached restricting their use to local services only.

London LEZ and ULEZ

From 26 October 2020, the current Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which covers the whole of the London area, is changing its requirements.

Any coach or bus over five tonnes that enters the zone from that date must meet Euro 6 requirements or pay the charge of £300 if Euro 4 standard is not met, or £100 if Euro 6 standard is not met. In effect, the standards of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) now in operation in central London extends to the whole of London for full-size coaches and buses.

From 25 October 2021 the current ULEZ increases the area of London it covers up to (but not including) the North and South Circular Roads. Technically this will not further impact full-size coaches and buses. However, PSV vehicles under five tonnes will now have to meet the requirements as well.

Get ready

It is a lot to get your head around, especially if you didn’t think you were affected.

If you only come into London occasionally, it does not require you to use a compliant vehicle for the LEZ changes, you just pay the charge. However, the PSVAR requirements are something different.

Do check your operations and seek clarification from trade bodies if need be. It is only six months away.

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