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Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010


My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Transport (Sadiq Khan) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing the publication of a 12-week consultation on improving bus passenger services through the regulatory framework. Copies of the consultation and impact assessment have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

It is my aim to modernise the local bus service regulatory framework and improve the passenger bus experience for everyone. As a result of discussions with stakeholders following the coming into force of the Local Transport Act regulations and guidance, and after careful consideration, the Department for Transport now seeks views on a small number of changes to secondary legislation. These changes would improve the provision of reliable and up-to-date information, reduce administrative costs for local authorities and bidders for service contracts, increase the scope for securing a better deal on fares for passengers and ensure stricter compliance with the code of conduct for drivers and passengers. This includes, as part of the Government’s commitment to improving personal security and safety on public transport, a proposal to ban the consumption of alcohol and/or carriage of an open container of alcohol on regulated schedule local bus services.

Taken as a whole, the proposals in this consultation should offer benefits to passengers, flexibility for operators, and improvements to bus services in general.