An Advice Note reissued by the Traffic Commissioners (TCs) has updated their stance on temporary registered service variations as movement restrictions continue to be eased.
Operators that wish to increase services incrementally – but without returning to the registration in force at the outset of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic – may continue to do so via the provision for a temporary variation to be submitted via email.
In a change to the previous position, the intention should now be for the original timetable to be reverted to by 30 September in England and Wales. In Scotland, that date that should be done by remains 31 August.
The TCs say that the extension has been granted in England and Wales “to reflect the challenges faced by operators while they assess what is practicable.” It will remain under review, they add. No reason is given why it does not also apply in Scotland.
When services are subject to a temporary variation, the local authority (LA) notice period in Scotland will increase to 72 hours from 29 June. In England it will remain 24 hours, but that may be reviewed. It will continue to be the case that applications will be deemed accepted on expiry of the 72- or 24-hour period respectively if no response is received from the LA(s) concerned.
There is no statutory notice period in Wales. TC Victoria Davies has agreed that applications for temporary service variations there will be considered accepted on expiry of a 24-hour period following receipt.
It remains the case that the fee to temporarily vary a local service will be waived on the condition that the intention is to return to the timetable that was registered in March 2020 by 30 September in England and Wales, or 31 August in Scotland.