The Secretary of State for Transport has today laid regulations under the Local Transport Act 2008 which will allow the owners of private hire vehicles (PHVs) to use their vehicles to provide local bus services.
The regulations will come into force on 27 November 2009.
Section 53 of the 2008 Act allows the holder of a PHV licence to acquire a special public service vehicle (PSV) licence from the traffic commissioner and to register a local bus service using a licensed PHV.
It is likely that this new opportunity will be of particular benefit to those in rural areas where it might not be cost-effective for bus operators to run services using larger buses.
The regulations apply in England, (outside London), Wales and Scotland. Transport for London are responsible for making any regulations governing PHV-buses in London. The ability to run bus services has been available to the owners of licensed taxis since 1986.
A summary of the responses received to the consultation exercise on the draft regulations, which was launched on 17 December 2008, has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.