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Monday, June 9, 2008

Uk Buses and Taxis


The Government sets the national policy framework on buses and provides substantial funding direct to bus operators through the Bus Service Operator Grant. It also provides funds to local transport authorities in support of bus services

Mechanisms include initiatives such as the Public Transport Fund and Bus Route Development Grant and funding under the local government settlement to support socially necessary services.

* Individual Bus Operators

Individual bus operators use their commercial judgement as to the level and frequency of services to be provided. This market approach should encourage innovation and entrepreneurship and provide incentives for operators to provide new services and develop new types of service.

* Local Transport Authorities

Local transport authorities are responsible for ensuring that bus services in their areas meet local needs. Under the Transport Act 1985, they have a duty to intervene in the marketplace to identify and subsidise socially necessary services. Additionally, the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001 added further options, including statutory Quality Partnerships and Quality Contracts.

The aim of these options is to encourage local transport authorities to work in partnership with bus operators to deliver high quality bus services. Further information on partnership working is contained in Quality Partnerships and Quality Contracts: A Review of Current Practices and Future Aspirations. This report was published in May 2004 by the Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers with the help and co-operation of the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

* Traffic Commissioner for the Scottish Traffic Area

The post of Traffic Commissioner, currently held by Joan Aitken, is a cross border public authority with reserved and devolved responsibilities. The post enforces good practice from bus service operators in particular that services are introduced, varied or cancelled in an orderly fashion.

The Traffic Commissioner's responsibilities include the licensing of bus operators, registration of local bus services and any disciplinary action against drivers of passenger carrying vehicles

Licensing issues are reserved to the Westminster Parliament. Registration of services is devolved and subject to the Public Service Vehicles (Registration of Local Services) (Scotland) Regulations 2001.


The licensing of taxis and private hire cars and their drivers is the responsibility of local authorities under powers set out in the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 and associated Regulations. Within this legislative framework local authorities have discretion to decide the licensing arrangements appropriate for the needs and circumstances of their area.

Taxis and private hire cars play an important role filling gaps in overall transport provision particularly for those without access to a car. They offer a unique and personal service door to door, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, often maintaining a service when other transport services have stopped for the night. Taxis and private hire cars can be particularly important for disabled people and those living in a rural area where bus or train may be not readily accessible.

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