On 31 January 2016 the Public Service Vehicles (Registration of Local Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2015 came into force. These regulations made changes to the bus service registration regime in Scotland as follows:-
The pre-registration period increased from 14 to 28 days to allow bus service operators and the relevant transport authorities time for meaningful discussion on the implications of any proposed changes and to plan accordingly to minimise any disruption or seek alternative options in the run up to service changes.
The registration period correspondingly decreased from 56 to 42 days, preserving the overall timetable from notification to service change at 70 days.
Guidance issued pre-changes
The Scottish Government expects bus operators and the relevant authorities to use the extended pre-registration period constructively to discuss proposed service changes and address any problems that may arise. To this end we have issued Best Practice Guidance for bus operators and the relevant authorities (any Passenger Transport Authority or local authority within whose area there will be a stopping place for the service).
The new timescales take effect on 31 January 2016. For the avoidance of doubt:
- If a bus operator sends a pre-registration notification to the relevant authority before 31 January, the 14 day pre-registration and 56 day registration periods will apply
- If a bus operator sends a pre-registration notification to the relevant authority on or after 31 January, the new timescales of 28 days pre-registration and 42 day registration period will apply.
Current Best Practice Guidance builds on work undertaken for Transport Scotland in Summer of 2015. This link contains the original report which formed the basis for the final guidance that was subsequently developed with stakeholders: Bus Service Registration Procedures - Developing best practice guidance
Office of the Traffic Commissioner
The Office of the Traffic Commissioner has amended the online forms to reflect the changes being made. These forms can be found on the Traffic Commissioners website.