The Local Transport Bill will empower local authorities to deliver bus services that better meet the needs of their local communities. Among other things, it will enable quality partnership schemes to make more of a difference, by allowing them to cover frequencies, timings and maximum fares where there are no “admissible objections” from “relevant operators”.
The Quality Partnership Scheme model was introduced by the Transport Act 2000 as a means by which a local authority agreed to invest in improved facilities at specific locations along bus routes (for example, bus stops or bus lanes) and operators who wish to use those facilities agree to provide services of a particular standard (for example, new buses, or driver training standards).
The Bill includes a power for the Secretary of State (and the Welsh Ministers) to make regulations defining the terms “admissible objections” and “relevant operators”. To assist the Public Bill Committee’s consideration of the Bill, the Government will shortly be publishing a pre-consultation draft of these regulations, along with an updated draft of the supporting guidance which was first published in December 2007. The draft regulations and guidance relate to England only.
The draft regulations and guidance will be made available on the Department for Transport website, and copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.