The Senior Traffic Commissioner (STC) Beverley Bell has started a six-week consultation on her revised proposed statutory guidance and statutory directions for local bus services..
The first draft, issued last year in a 12-week consultation, drew heavy criticism from operators about the unachievable punctuality targets and other aspects.
In particular, the first draft removed the one-minute-early ‘window of tolerance’.
The new draft has reinstated the one-minute-early ‘window of tolerance’ and also increased it from five, to seven minutes late.
The document sets out what TCs should expect from operators running registered bus routes and the standards for reliable and punctual services.
A number of other changes have been made to the text, reducing the original 42 pages to 27.
Significantly, 17 road conditions, such as the impact of accidents, illegal obstruction and no-notice closures, are listed as justification for being unable to reach the punctuality targets.
Says Mrs Bell: â€œThe document provoked a significant response from the industry and those with an interest in the reliable and punctual operation of local bus services.
â€œI am very grateful to everyone who responded and offered their considered thoughts.
â€œThis critical assessment has given me an opportunity to assess the guidance and directions again and revise the document within the context of the responses received. There will now be a shorter period of consultation on the revised draft. I would encourage all parties to respond and I look forward to issuing the new guidance to the industry once the further consultation has ended and the feedback has been assessed.â€ The consultation closes on 19 May.