TC takes action on St Ives shuttle buses

Services were running with 50% compliance rate between St Ives Bus Co and Royal Buses

Continuing complaints about the operation of shuttle services between Royal Square in St Ives, Cornwall and the Trenwith Car Park have led Traffic Commissioner (TC) Kevin Rooney to cancel the registration of a service operated by St Ives Bus Co.

In addition, the TC has banned three similar services operated by Nicholas Eastwood, trading as Royal Buses, from using the turning circle at Royal Square and bus stop C at the Trenwith Car Park.

Both operators had been called before the TC at a St Ives Public Inquiry because of concerns that their services might not be operating in accordance with their registered particulars, and were breaching a Traffic Regulation Condition (TRC) imposed in 2016.

In his decision, the TC said that the use of Royal Square by buses had generated complaints over a number of years including from members of the public, the local MP and the Royal Square Action Group.

The TRC appeared to have achieved some improvement at the time but complaints continued. The traffic position in the area was poor with congestion caused by the buses, delivery vehicles and the sheer weight of traffic travelling through narrow streets.

He had also received reports from DVSA which appeared to show that the services might not be operating in line with their registrations.

He had also been provided with evidence from Cornwall Council appearing to identify breaches of the TRC.

Both operators originally shared a registration for the shuttle services. That was changed in 2016.

The current registrations required each operator to run a minimum of six circuits in an hour. In reality, both operators had continued as they were and ran, in normal times, six between them.

He found as a fact that the services were being run with a 50% non-compliance rate. He made no other findings of fact in relation to the reports from DVSA or the evidence received from Cornwall Council. The evidence was served on the operators at a late stage and, while both provided detailed responses, it would be unfair to make findings without further time.

In addition to the decisions he was making in regard to the shuttle services, amendments were made to the TRC.

He was adjourning his decision in relation to the emission levels of vehicles until the effect of the current changes could be seen. In any case, he would not envisage requiring renewal of vehicles before the 2020 season.

Both operators provided their drivers for a training session on the evening of 19 June following an undertaking they had given. He was grateful for the cooperation of the operators in that regard and the positive engagement from drivers on the night.

Finally, the TC attached an undertaking to each licence that only single fares should be charged for the shuttle services operated between Trenwith Car Park and Royal Square.

He adjourned his decision on regulatory matters to allow the new changes to be put into place and to have effect.