An amended voluntary Code of Practice for coach operators taking passengers to and from designated sporting events in England and Wales has been published by Beverly Bell. .
Part of the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Document on Good Repute and Fitness, it has been reviewed at the request of Police in England and Wales. The proposed changes were then open to a public consultation.
The revised Code asks coach operators to comply with additional and amended guidelines:
- Additional information is given to police liaison officers 48 hours prior to an event (the name and contact number for the person who made the booking, the vehicle’s registration number and coach driver’s name)
- Coaches leave the ground within 30 minutes of the event finishing, unless directed otherwise by a police officer or ground safety officer (previously one hour)
- Flares and pyrotechnics are not carried on coaches. Drivers should supervise boarding passengers to check they are not obviously carrying flares and similar pyrotechnics (as well as alcohol)
- The police liaison officer is told, upon arrival at an away football ground, of any racist, homophobic or similar chanting, which had taken place during the journey to the ground.
- The Code also says operators may make voluntary searches a condition of entry to the vehicle.
Operators are asked to comply with all of the guidelines on a voluntary basis. However, if the police inform the Traffic Commissioner (TC) of any failure on an operator’s part to comply with them, the TC will consider whether to apply them as a formal condition to that operator’s licence. TCs may also consider regulatory action against the licence.