asked Her Majesty's Government:When they intend to extend the 42-day notice period for termination of a registered bus service to 56 days; and [HL603]When they intend to abolish the "five minute rule" under which bus operators can vary departure times by up to five minutes without further notification to the Traffic Commissioners. [HL604]
These changes will be brought forward in the spring as part of a package of proposals on changes to the registration regulations. These proposals will also take forward the commitment in the White Paper Our Countryside: The Future—A Fair Deal for Rural England to consult on changes to make it easier to run flexibly routed services and on the notice period for community-based services. It is sensible for all changes to the registration rules to be considered in one package.
asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have any plans to extend the
de minimis ceilings which allow local authorities to negotiate changes to subsidised bus services without re-tendering. [HL605]
We have no immediate plans to change the de minimis limits, which were last increased in October 1998. However, we will keep their levels under review in the light of any representations from local authorities and others.