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Bus Services: Concessions

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many senior citizen bus passes were delayed on account of her Department's failure to give the necessary information to the contractors Euclid in good time. (201008)

None. However, I understand that a number of travel concession authorities have their passes produced by Euclid. The Department had nothing to do with any arrangements made by authorities with Euclid.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether a taxi operating as a bus service under the Transport Act 1985 and licensed as a restricted PSV operator under Part II of the Public Passenger Act 1981 is able to offer concessionary fares under the national concessionary fare scheme; and whether this applies to those with (a) eight seats or more on a timetable and (b) fewer than eight seats or not on a timetable. (201388)

A licensed taxi has to be a vehicle with fewer than nine passenger seats.

To operate as a taxi-bus the licensed taxi's owner has to acquire from the Traffic Commissioner a Special Restricted Public Service Vehicle operator licence (under section 12 of the Transport Act 1985). This enables the vehicle to run a registered bus service (as a taxi-bus) at certain times of the day and be used for conventional taxi work at other times.

The Local Services (Operation by Taxis) Regulations 1986 requires the display of a "bus" sign and prohibits the use of an illuminated taxi sign during the vehicle's use as a taxi-bus.

The Travel Concessions (Eligible Services) Order 2002 describes circumstances where a taxi-bus could be considered an eligible service for concessionary travel. It is for the local Travel Concession Authority to determine whether a taxi-bus service meets the requirements which include:

being available to the general public at bus stops;

running to a published timetable; and,

offering transport to and from any stops on the route, with fares payable to the driver and not set at a level which is likely to act as a deterrent to bus users.