The suggested changes contained in the Draft Local Transport Bill, which was published on 22 May, are the most significant government proposals on community transport regulation for Great Britain in 30 years – since the introduction of permits in 1977.
The CTA has been lobbying for ten years for a more simplified approach to the regulation of community transport and chief executive Keith Halstead says he is pleased that the bill will remove specific restrictions on community transport provision, such as allowing Section 22 drivers to be paid.
While the issue of permits would benefit from rationalisation, the CTA has significant concerns about the government’s plans to use the traffic commissioners to issue section 19 permits. The CTA fears that this will lead to an increase in costs and in the time it takes to secure a permit.
Most of the provisions in the draft bill apply to England and Wales, although the planned revisions to the permit system are also supported by the Scottish Executive.
The CTA will be canvassing members on its draft response to the Department for Transport’s consultation process on the bill. This has to be submitted by 7 September. The CTA will also be submitting evidence to the Transport Select Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill which is scheduled to take place before the House rises for the summer recess.