Guidance

Section 19 and 22 permits: not for profit passenger transport

Published 7 August 2013

Organisations that provide transport on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis can apply for permits under Section 19 or Section 22 of the Transport Act 1985. These permits allow the holder to operate transport services for hire or reward without the need for a full public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence. This guide explains the rules for the permits and how to apply for them.

This guide isn’t a legal document and doesn’t provide a definitive interpretation of the legislation. Only the courts can do that. DVSA staff can help you to find out if you’re eligible for a permit, but they can’t advise on the legality of your operation once the permit is granted. You should seek your own legal advice if you’re in doubt about this.

Using a vehicle for hire or reward, without either a valid PSV operator’s licence or permit, means that you could be prosecuted and have your vehicle impounded. This guide helps you to find out if you’re entitled to a permit. For an explanation of ‘hire or reward’ see the section on Payment for providing transport.

1. What are permits?

Normally, an organisation operating in Great Britain (GB) that accepts any sort of payment for providing transport to passengers must hold either a public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence or a private hire vehicle licence.

PSV operators’ licences are issued by a traffic commissioner. Private hire vehicle licences are issued by local authorities. In most cases, drivers of PSVs will also require a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) entitlement on their driving licence.

Section 19 and section 22 of the Transport Act 1985 allow organisations that operate in GB without a view to profit to have a permit which exempts them from the need to hold a PSV operator’s licence when providing transport for a charge. Under specified conditions, the drivers of certain vehicles are exempt from the need to have PCV entitlement on their driving licence.

As a permit holder you have a responsibility to make sure that your services are operated within the law, with vehicles properly maintained and using drivers with the appropriate qualifications.You should discuss with the body that issued the permit or with DVSA if you’re in any doubt about your obligations in operating your vehicles safely and legally, or your ongoing entitlement to operate under the permit, .

2. Types of permit

There are 2 types of permit issued under the Transport Act 1985:

  • permits issued under section 19 - relating to the use of vehicles by educational and other bodies
  • permits issued under section 22 - community bus permits

Section 19 permits are either ‘standard permits’ for vehicles which are adapted to carry no more than 16 passengers (excluding the driver) or ‘large bus permits’ for vehicles which are adapted to carry 17 or more passengers. These permits may be granted to organisations that operate vehicles without a view to profit to transport their members, or people whom the organisation exists to help. Section 19 permit vehicles can’t be used to carry members of the general public.

Section 22 permits are issued to bodies concerned for the social and welfare needs of one or more communities. They operate vehicles without a view to profit and use those vehicles to provide a community bus service. Unlike section 19 permit vehicles, community bus services are ‘local bus services’ and can carry the general public. Local bus services are defined as services using public service vehicles for the carriage of passengers by road at separate fares on which passengers may travel for less than 15 miles.

Vehicles adapted to carry 9 or more passengers (excluding the driver) may be used under a community bus permit. This includes large buses adapted to carry 17 or more passengers. The use of a large bus won’t be authorised unless the traffic commissioner is satisfied that there are adequate facilities or arrangements in place to maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition.

A community bus permit that was issued before 6 April 2009 doesn’t authorise the use of a large bus.

A permit isn’t specific to one vehicle, so the holder of the permit can transfer it between different vehicles. But a permit can only be used on one vehicle at a time. An organisation can hold more than one permit. An organisation may also hold both section 19 and section 22 permits, but a vehicle must only be used under one type of permit at a time. The correct disc must be displayed in the vehicle to show how it’s being used at the time.

You should not display a section 19 and a section 22 disc in a vehicle at the same time. The disc you display will depend on what the vehicle is being used for. For example, if you’re providing a local bus service you must display the section 22 disc.

3. Definitions

3.1 Payment for providing transport

The legal term for this is ‘hire or reward’. It’s any payment, in cash or kind, which gives a person the right to be carried on the vehicle, regardless of whether or not that right is exercised. Hire or reward takes place if the journey is organised in a way that goes beyond the bounds of mere social kindness.

The payment may be made by the passenger or on the passenger’s behalf. It may be a direct payment, eg a fare or an indirect payment such as a membership subscription. Where indirect payments are made in respect of other services (rather than specifically for the transport) they’re still likely to be viewed by the courts as hire or reward because anyone who hadn’t made the payment would have no right to be carried.

The courts have taken a broad view of what constitutes “hire or reward”, and may consider indirect payments to be hire or reward. You should seek further advice if you’re in any doubt over whether your organisation operates vehicles for hire or reward .

A permit is not required if no charge is made either directly or indirectly for services that include carriage on the vehicle.

3.2 Without a view to profit (‘not-for-profit’)

A vehicle being used under a permit must not be used with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on for profit.

A charity would normally be considered to be a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. In England and Wales charities may be registered with the Charity Commission and, in Scotland, with the Office of the Scottish Regulator, but not all charities are registered. Your organisation should have a registration number which you should quote on your application form, if it is registered. An organisation doesn’t have to have charitable status to meet the ‘not-for-profit’ requirement. Societies and clubs whose primary purpose is the provision of services for its members or the local community, and not to make a profit, may also come within this definition.

Commercial organisations, including privately owned schools, nursing homes, activity centres are not eligible to be granted a permit. Also, where the permit holder provides transport services on behalf of another organisation (eg the permit holder is a separate legal entity formed to provide transport services for another organisation), that other organisation must also not carry on its activities with a view to profit.

The law on the meaning of vehicles being used incidentally to an activity carried on for profit has been considered by the courts. In that case the permit holder was a company established for the sole purpose of providing transport services for 5 independent schools owned by a partnership, and was a separate legal entity from the partnership. The court held that, whilst the permit holder did not operate with a view to a profit, the partnership did, and the permit holder was therefore using the vehicle incidentally to an activity which was carried on with a view to profit. The permit holder was not therefore eligible to operate those services under a section 19 permit.

For example, a charity won’t be operating for profit if it runs a minibus from sheltered accommodation to the local supermarket. But, if the supermarket offered to pay for the service, this service would be operated incidental to an activity which in itself is carried on with a view to profit, ie the supermarket. This wouldn’t be allowed under a permit.

3.3 Community Interest Companies (CICs)

The eligibility of a CIC to hold a section 19 permit will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The key point is that the transport services must not be provided with a view to profit, nor incidentally to an activity that is carried on for profit. An important consideration is likely to be whether or not the CIC has share capital. Where there is share capital, and profits may be distributed in the form of dividends to shareholders, the CIC is highly unlikely to be eligible for a section 19 permit. Also, where the intention is that the CIC will (or might) generate a return which would then be made available to another CIC, the ‘not-for-profit’ requirement is unlikely to be met.

By contrast, the ‘not-for-profit’ condition may be met where:

  • the CIC takes the form of a company limited by guarantee without share capital
  • fares are set at a level intended to meet running costs (which can include depreciation) but not to generate a profit
  • there’s no scope to distribute dividends to other parties in the normal course of events
  • there’s no scope for the directors of the company to sell for personal gain any asset of the company, eg the company has an asset lock
  • there’s clear evidence that the directors of the company aren’t paying themselves or others excessive fees or wages to produce a ‘not-for-profit’ outcome to the accounts

The CIC’s memorandum and articles of association may give an indication of whether the CIC is operating with a view to profit. It’s likely that most CICs would not meet the ‘not-for-profit’ requirement, given that a common reason for setting up a CIC is to enable surpluses to be made and reinvested in other activities of benefit to the community.

You should get independent legal advice before submitting a permit application, if you’re not sure whether your organisation meets the ‘not-for-profit’ requirement,

3.4 Separate fares

Separate fares mean an individual payment by each passenger to the driver or other representative of the permit holder for the journey undertaken.

Payment may be made on the vehicle or in advance. It may also be by indirect means, perhaps in respect of other services (eg tickets to an event where travel is included), or as part of a regular subscription to an organisation. Separate fares are not paid where the vehicle is hired as a whole for a set charge (which isn’t influenced by the number of passengers carried) and passengers, to the knowledge of the driver or permit holder, make no individual contribution.

Some hypothetical examples to illustrate how the separate fares requirement might work are set out in Annex 6. This isn’t a definitive interpretation of the law (which can only be provided by the courts) but represents DVSA’s view on how the law might operate.

Since April 2009 services can be provided under a section 19 permit using a vehicle constructed or adapted to carry no more than 8 passengers. Where such vehicles are used under a permit, the passengers must be charged separate fares. The vehicle will normally need to be licensed as a private hire vehicle (PHV), if separate fares are not charged and the vehicle is provided for hire with a driver for the purposes of carrying passengers, . A section 19 permit doesn’t exempt the operator from the PHV licensing regime.

3.5 Vehicles

Small vehicles - adapted to carry 8 or fewer passengers (excluding the driver). Small buses - adapted to carry 9 to 16 passengers (excluding the driver). Large buses - adapted to carry 17 or more passengers (excluding the driver).

A vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers which is used for carrying passengers for hire or reward is a public service vehicle (PSV), regardless as to whether it’s operated under a permit or a licence.

Vehicles adapted to carry 8 or fewer passengers are PSVs only if used to carry passengers at separate fares in the course of a business of carrying passengers. This means that if you use a small vehicle you must charge separate fares. The vehicle must not be available for hire as a whole. You’re likely to need a private hire vehicle licence if you do hire the vehicle as a whole . In these cases you should contact your local council, which is responsible for licensing private hire vehicle operations, for advice.

Car sharing is exempt from the requirement to operate under a permit. Car sharing is when prearranged payments are made to the driver and the aggregate of all payments received does not exceed the running costs of the vehicle for the journey. Further information on car sharing schemes is available from the Community Transport Association (CTA) - see Annex 8.

3.6 Issuing bodies

Permits may be issued by traffic commissioners (through DVSA) or by designated bodies, depending on the type of permit and the size of vehicle.

Traffic commissioners have the power to issue permits under section 19 and section 22 in respect of all types of vehicle which can be used under the relevant permit.

Designated bodies are bodies designated by the Secretary of State in an order which lists all the designated bodies, and specifies the classes of body to which each designated body may grant permits. A body is eligible to be designated if it’s concerned with:

  • education
  • religion
  • social welfare
  • recreation
  • other activities of benefit to the community

Designated bodies only have the power to grant section 19 permits authorising the use of vehicles adapted to carry no more than 16 passengers (standard permit). They can’t grant a section 19 permit authorising the use of a large bus (adapted to carry 17 or more passengers) and they can’t grant section 22 permits.

Designated bodies include local authorities and many national voluntary organisations, such as the Scout Association. Designated bodies may issue permits both to themselves and to the classes of body identified in the order. For example, the Scout Association can grant permits to all Scout Associations within the scope of the Scout Association, and joint scout and guide groups. A list of designated bodies can be obtained from permits@vosa.gov.uk.

The list of designated bodies is subject to review. This means that bodies may be added or removed from the list. Any permit issued by a body ceases to be valid, if that body is removed from the list . An application for a new permit should be made to the traffic commissioner or another appropriate designated body.

4. Safety, licensing and vehicle maintenance

As a permit holder you’re responsible for ensuring the safe operation of your vehicles, within the legal requirements and under a valid permit. You should ensure are that:

  • your drivers are suitably trained and correctly licensed
  • your drivers take appropriate breaks
  • your vehicles satisfy the appropriate construction and use requirements and are maintained in a safe and roadworthy condition
  • your vehicles are insured and your insurer is aware that your vehicles are used to provide services for hire or reward under a permit
  • the vehicle isn’t operated with a view to profit, nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit
  • you only carry the class(es) of passengers allowed by the permit and, in the case of section 19, you don’t provide any transport services that could viewed to be carrying the general public
  • you inform DVSA or the designated body that issued your permit of any changes such as the change of name of your organisation, as this means that your permit needs to be replaced.

4.1 Driver licensing

The vehicle’s driver must hold the appropriate category of entitlement on their driving licence.

4.2 Driver fatigue

All drivers should be aware of the risk to passenger safety from driving when tired. It’s not sensible to start a long trip after a full day’s work, whether that work involves driving or not. Breaks should be built into journey planning - aim to have a break from driving of at least 15 minutes every 2 hours. If driving under EU rules a break of at least 45 minutes after 4 and a half hours of driving is required. A break of at least 30 minutes is required after 5 and a half hours of driving, if driving under domestic drivers’ hours rules .

4.3 Vehicle maintenance

Vehicles operated under a permit are still public service vehicles and subject to spot checks by DVSA examiners as to their roadworthiness. You must ensure all vehicles have regular maintenance inspections. It’s also advisable to carry out a walkaround check every time the vehicle is used.

A prohibition notice could be issued to prevent it being driven, if the vehicle is found to be unfit. Failure to obey such a notice is against the law and could lead to a heavy fine. Recommended maintenance arrangements are described in Annex 2.

Road safety is most important. It’s essential that any vehicle you use is in a roadworthy condition. Failure to maintain your vehicle adequately could lead to your permit being revoked or other penalties being imposed.

4.4 Further reading

You should read the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness.

4.5 Insurance

A vehicle operated under a permit must be covered by third party insurance - which also covers the passengers being carried on the vehicle.

You need to tell your insurer that you’ll be receiving payment from passengers (operating for “hire or reward”), but that you’re exempt from the requirement to have a PSV operator’s licence or a PHV licence because you’re operating under a permit. It’s your responsibility to check with your insurer that your policy covers the services you’re providing.

This also applies to small vehicles being used under a section 19 permit. Permit holders who use small vehicles must inform their insurers that the vehicle is being operated for hire or reward but that it’s exempt from PSV operator licensing.

5. Once a permit has been issued

5.1 Tendering for contracts

The legislation prevents a local authority from accepting a tender to operate a subsidised service contract under section 89 of the Transport Act 1985 (obligation to invite tenders for subsidised services) from the holder of a section 19 permit. Section 89 applies where local authorities invite tenders to operate public passenger transport services which are local services and where the authority has agreed to subsidise the operator. Services provided under a section 19 permit are not classified as “local services” and members of the general public may not be carried on services provided under such a permit.

There‘s no such restriction on the holders of a section 19 permit from tendering for contracts to provide services which are not classified as local services. This may include, for example, school transport on which members of the general public aren’t carried, or specialised door-to-door services such as Dial-a-Ride. However, the holder of a section 19 permit may only provide services under a contract where the contract is limited to the carriage of passengers within the class or classes specified on the section 19 permit. There’s no legal barrier to local authorities, when they invite tenders for subsidised service contracts under section 89 of the Transport Act 1985, from accepting tenders from section 22 permit holders. Section 22 permit holders may also bid for quality contracts under section 130 of the Transport Act 2000.

When issuing an invitation to tender it is for the local authority to specify the criteria against which bids will be considered and whether they’re prepared to accept tenders from permit holders.

Contracts can’t be undertaken with a view to making a profit as this would invalidate the permit. Full cost recovery (FCR) models can be used. Further information on FCR is available from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO).

5.2 Lost permits and discs

Your permit and disc are important documents and should be kept safe. You should notify whoever issued it and ask for a replacement, if a permit is lost or destroyed (or becomes defaced or faded). The originals must be returned to the issuing body immediately if you later find it.

A faded or defaced disc should be returned with the corresponding permit (and vice versa) so that a new permit and disc may be issued. Replacement permits will be valid for a period not exceeding 5 years and the expiry date will be stated on the returned documents. You may be charged for replacements if you don’t return the corresponding permit or disc with the faded or defaced document .

You must not overwrite the details if a disc or permit fades . The permit and disc must be returned to the issuing body for replacement.

5.3 Going abroad

The permit system only applies to journeys wholly within GB and Northern Ireland. Permits aren’t valid outside of GB and Northern Ireland. You can ask for a copy of a leaflet Taking a Minibus Abroad from either:

The International Road Freight Office (IRFO), Eastbrook, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8PF

Telephone 01223 531030

or

DfT, Buses and Taxis Division, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR

Telephone 0300 330 3000

International minibus trips fall into one of two categories.

  1. The service is being provided by a professional transport operator who has been issued with a passenger transport operator’s licence in their host state.

  2. The bus is being operated by an organisation on its “own account” and, as such, is exempted from operator licensing requirements. Such trips can be carried out under cover of an Own Account Certificate. These certificates are issued provided the minibus is owned by the organisation, that transport is not the main business and that the person driving the bus is a member of staff.

Organisations that operate (without a view to profit) vehicles which can carry 17 or more passengers are also eligible for Own Account Certificates. These organisations should apply to IRFO for an Own Account Certificate to use their vehicles to carry their own members abroad.

You should contact IRFO for further advice and guidance if you’re intending to take a vehicle abroad .

5.4 Bus Service Operator’s Grant

Your organisation may be eligible for a Bus Service Operator’s Grant (BSOG), which is claimed from the Department for Transport. You may be eligible if your organisation holds a section 22 permit, as you’ll be operating a registered local bus service.

Transport services operated under a section 19 permit may be eligible if the services provided are used wholly or mainly by:

  • persons aged 60 years or more
  • disabled persons - for this purpose, a person is disabled if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
  • persons in receipt of income support under section 124 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992
  • persons in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995
  • persons suffering a degree of social exclusion by virtue of unemployment, poverty or other economic factors, homelessness, geographical remoteness, ill health, or religious or cultural customs
  • persons who believe that it would be unsafe for them to use any public passenger transport services
  • carers or persons under 16 years of age accompanying any of the above

For further information please contact the Bus Service Operator’s Grant division of the DfT.

6. Section 19 permits

6.1 Who can apply for a permit?

Any organisation operating without a view to profit, concerned with:

  • education
  • religion
  • social welfare
  • recreation (standard permits only)
  • other activities of benefit to the community

What’s meant by operating without a view to profit?

Those applying for a section 19 permit must satisfy the issuing body that the transport services aren’t run with a view to profit, nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit.

Organisations that are registered as charities usually qualify. However, a business which makes, or seeks to make, a profit would not normally qualify, regardless of how it uses any profits or income surplus.

You should read the guide to PSV operator licensing: a guide for operators (PSV437) if your organisation is a business carried on with a view to profit and it operates vehicles for hire or reward, as an operator’s licence is likely to be required.

For more detailed information about what constitutes operating without a view to profit refer to the ‘Definitions’ section above.

You may be operating in breach of the laws governing PSV operator licensing if you’re using a vehicle under a permit with a view to profit, and could be liable to prosecution and have your vehicle impounded. DVSA take any breach of this legal requirement seriously, and any suspected breach should be reported to the DVSA customer service centre.

Applying for a permit

Applications forms for standard permits are available from:

Read the guidance on completing a section 19 application.

Local authorities are also designated bodies and may issue permits to their own departments and to:

  • bodies concerned with health and welfare services eligible for grants under the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968.
  • bodies assisting or co-ordinating the activities of community groups in the area. These are known as “umbrella organisations”. Groups affiliated to one of these organisations may use a vehicle, other than a large bus, under that organisation’s permit.
  • schools or other bodies connected with education (if they fulfil the authority’s duties under the Education Act 1996) (where the local authority is a local education authority).

You need to send your completed application form to the organisation you got it from.

Applications for a large bus permit are available from:

These must be returned to DVSA.

Application fees

There is a fee payable with the application. See the table of fees for applying for a section 19 standard or large bus permit.

How many permits can I apply for?

You can apply for as many permits as you need. You need a permit for every vehicle that you’ll operating at any one time. Each vehicle must display the disc that relates to the permit in the windscreen. For example, if you want to operate 3 vehicles at the same time, you must have 3 permits. You can apply for more than one permit on an application form. You can apply for more permits at any time, if your needs change and you want to operate more vehicles.

Before you submit your application you should check what the fee will be with DVSA, or the designated body to which you are submitting your application. With DVSA, the fee is based on the number of permits you apply for.

Standard permits

A standard permit is normally issued to a specific group (eg a scout group). A permit may be issued to a named individual on behalf of a body which he or she represents if it seems to the issuing body to be appropriate. This might be appropriate with an informal group, which has no separate legal entity, such as a local swimming group. Such an application will need to be supported with the following information:

  • the name of the body or group on whose behalf you’re applying
  • an explanation as to the why the body or group is not applying for the permit
  • your relationship to the body or group
  • what the body or group does, what group of people they assist
  • additional information as may be required by the traffic commissioner or designated body

A permit granted to an individual is treated as having been granted to the body which that person represents.

Large bus permits

Permits for large buses can only be issued by the traffic commissioner to a body which assists and co-ordinates the activities of bodies concerned with:

  • education
  • religion
  • social welfare
  • other activities of benefit to the community

Before granting the application the traffic commissioner will need to be satisfied that you have adequate maintenance facilities to keep your vehicle in a roadworthy condition at all times. The vehicle will also need an appropriate certificate to show that is has been built or adapted to PSV standards. This may be a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) or a Certificate of Conformity (CoC). You must ensure that any large bus you use under your permit has been issued with a COIF or a CoC, whether you purchase the vehicle or hire it in.

Further information

A Certificate of Initial Fitness is a certificate that confirms that a vehicle has been built or adapted to meet the requirements of the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981. It is issued by a DVSA certifying officer when the vehicle meets all the relevant PSV requirements.

A Certificate of Conformity is for vehicles covered by a Type Approval Certificate. Type approval is the approval of mass-produced vehicles and components and the certificate sets the specification of a vehicle or vehicle component.

The vehicle approval process is changing and COIFs and CoCs are to be replaced by certificates issued under the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009. These certificates are for vehicles which meet standards set out in European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) or the New National Scheme (NNS). COIFs and CoCs will continue to be the valid certificate for older vehicles. You should check to see whether your vehicle has been approved either under ECWVTA or NNS, if your vehicle has not be issued with either of the above, as it does require a certificate. For further information please contact DVSA.

6.2 Grant of your application

You’ll receive a permit which will have a unique serial number and a corresponding disc with the same number, if your application is granted . You should remove the disc and place it in the windscreen of the vehicle to be used. It must be fixed to the inside of the windscreen so that it can be easily seen from outside the vehicle but does not obstruct the driver’s view.

You may be issued with more than one permit and each permit will have a corresponding disc. The permits and discs are not vehicle specific and you may therefore move a disc from one vehicle to another. Each vehicle must display a valid disc when it is being used under the section 19 permit system. You can’t use more than one vehicle at any time under the same permit.

Standard permits authorise the use of vehicles adapted to carry not more than 16 passengers. They can’t be used in larger vehicles. Large bus permits authorise the use of vehicles adapted to carry 17 or more passengers. They can’t be used in smaller vehicles.

For each vehicle used under a permit, the corresponding disc must be displayed in the windscreen.

Validity period

Permits and discs granted on or after 6th April 2009 will have an expiry date and will be valid for a maximum of 5 years. Permits and discs granted before 6th April 2009 don’t have an expiry date and will remain in force until further notice.

Conditions and revocation

Permits may be revoked (taken away), new conditions may be attached and existing conditions varied at any time by the body that issued it or by a traffic commissioner. The traffic commissioner must first consult that body before varying or revoking a permit, if a permit was issued by a designated body.

Permits cease to be valid if the designated body that issued them ceases to be designated. In that case the permit holders should apply to the traffic commissioner or, where appropriate, another designated body, for a permit. A charge may be payable in these circumstances.

Where a designated body has issued a permit to a member group and that group subsequently ceases to be a member, the designated body should exercise its powers to revoke the permit. The group will then need to submit an application for a new permit to the traffic commissioner for consideration, should they wish to continue to operate vehicles.

A permit which has been revoked or is no longer valid must be returned to the body which issued it or, where that body is no longer a designated body, to the Central Licensing Office in Leeds.

Who can be carried on the vehicle

A vehicle being used under a section 19 permit must not be used to carry members of the general public. Each section 19 permit, and corresponding disc, will indicate the particular classes of persons who can be carried. Each permit and disc will specify one or more of the following classes of person:

Class A - members of the body holding the permit. Class B - persons whom the body exists to benefit, and persons assisting them. Class C - disabled persons (as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) or persons who are seriously ill and persons assisting them. Class D - pupils or students of any school, college, university or other educational establishment and staff or other helpers accompanying them. Class E - persons living within a geographically defined local community, or group of communities, whose public transport needs are not met other than by virtue of services provided by the body holding the permit. Class F - any other classes of persons specified in the permit.

For example, a permit issued to a scout group might indicate that only members of the scout group and persons assisting or supervising them can be carried. In that case the vehicle couldn’t be used under the permit to carry persons who had no association with the scout group. Alternatively, such a permit may state that vehicles used under the permit may carry members of a girl guide group, as well as the scout group.

You’ll need to supply further information with your application if your organisation wishes to have a permit permitting the carriage of persons in Class E or Class F. For Class E you should clearly state what the local community is - for example it may be residents of a village or group of villages, or other isolated rural communities. Failure to supply enough information may lead to a delay in processing your application or even its refusal.

Section 19 permits and isolated communities

DVSA consider that a service is not being provided for the ‘general public’ if 2 key conditions are met.

First, where a permit authorises the carriage of persons in Class E, the permit will specify the geographically-defined local community, or group of communities, in question. The legislation is not specific about the size of area that may be specified, but any such area must be clearly local in nature. This will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis, but in general an area encompassing a group of neighbouring villages is likely to be “local” in nature, while an area covering a number of towns is unlikely to be.

Secondly, people are only eligible under Class E if their public transport needs wouldn’t be met other than by the services provided by the permit-holder. An example might be that of a large retail park in a town at which a number of people living in outlying villages are employed. If there’s no public transport which employees could use to get to the retail park for, say, 8 o’clock in the morning and back again at 7 o’clock in the evening, a body may be formed by the employees (not by the businesses on their behalf) to provide appropriate transport under a section 19 permit, under Class E. The Class E entitlement would only fall if public transport which would meet the needs of those employees were to be provided. So, if a new bus service was introduced providing services from the villages to a local market town twice a week, DVSA’s view is that it would not affect the services operated under the permit because those services would not meet the public transport needs of the employees at the retail park. But if a daily bus service were to be introduced, serving all the places served by the permit holder from 6 o’clock in the morning until 9 o’ clock at night, then our view is that the permit could no longer continue to be used under Class E for that particular group of people.

It’s the responsibility of the holder of a Class E permit to make arrangements to ensure that passengers genuinely fall within Class E - perhaps via a signed application or a membership scheme. When granting a permit to carry passengers in Class E, the traffic commissioner or designated body will need to be satisfied that the applicant has suitable arrangements in place.

Changes to the permit

A permit may not be varied to substitute another body for the body to which it was granted. This means that if your organisation changes its name or entity you should apply for a new permit to reflect the change. The existing permit and disc will need to be surrendered either to the designated body that issued it or to the traffic commissioner.

A permit isn’t transferable to another organisation. You’re only allowed to carry the class of passenger stated in your permit. You’ll need to apply for a new permit if your permit was issued by a traffic commissioner and you want to add another class of passenger. The new permit will have an expiry date which will be no later than five years from the date of issue. You should return the existing permit to the traffic commissioner if you no longer require it. No refunds will be issued. You should contact the designated body for advice on how to make changes, if your permit was issued by that body .

What you can charge passengers

You can set fares or contributions at a level to recover the costs of running the vehicle, including an allowance for vehicle depreciation and drivers’ wages. However fares must not be set at a level which would produce a regular surplus of income over expenditure because that would be a profit-making operation and would not eligible under the section 19 permit scheme. In this case you would be likely to need a PSV operator’s licence.

Passengers in wheelchairs and disabled persons

Your vehicle may be adapted to carry passengers in wheelchairs. Wheelchairs should be securely positioned so as not to cause danger to the wheelchair user or other passengers. Equipment such as ramps and lifts should be used in a safe manner and regularly checked to ensure that they’re in good working order. Staff should be trained to use the equipment.

Further reading

You are advised to read the Department for Transport’s Code of Practice The Safety of Passengers in Wheelchairs on Buses which can be obtained from the Department for Transport (0300 330 3000).

6.3 Vehicles used under a permit

Vehicle Size

Standard permits authorise the use of vehicles adapted to carry not more than 16 passengers (excluding the driver). Where small vehicles (8 or fewer passenger seats) are used the passengers must be carried at separate fares. A definition of separate fares can be found in the ‘Definitions’ section above. Please also refer to Annex 6 for examples.

Large bus permits authorise the use of vehicles adapted to carry 17 or more passengers. They can’t be used in smaller vehicles.

You must charge separate fares if you use a small vehicle ie it carries 8 or fewer passengers.

Vehicle testing

Vehicles that can carry 8 or fewer passengers are first tested at the third anniversary from registration and then annually thereafter. These are Class IV vehicles and may be tested at MOT testing stations that are authorised to test such vehicles. All other permit vehicles must be tested annually from the date of registration.

Vehicles adapted to carry 9 to 12 seated passengers are Class IV vehicles and may be tested at those MOT testing stations which are authorised to test such vehicles.

Vehicles adapted to carry 13 to 16 seated passengers are Class V vehicles and must be tested at approved HGV/LGV testing stations or specially designated MOT testing stations authorised to test such vehicles.

Large buses adapted to carry 17 or more passengers must comply with the Class VI test. They must be tested at approved HGV/LGV testing stations or authorised sites, where they’re tested by DVSA Vehicle Examiners.

Additional requirements

Large buses used under a section 19 permit must have a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) (or equivalent) certifying that it complied with current PSV conditions of fitness when manufactured, or Certificate of Conformity, or certificate issued under the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009. If you buy or hire in a large bus you should check that it has been issued with one of these certificates. You may be committing a criminal offence if you operate a large bus under a section 19 permit without the appropriate certificate .

6.4 Seatbelts

Installation

Minibuses, coaches and buses first used on or after 1st October 2001 must have seatbelts fitted in all forward and rear facing seats, including the driver’s seat.

Coaches and minibuses first used prior to 1 October 2001 which are used to carry children aged 3 to 15 years on organised trips must provide each child with (as a minimum) a lap belt on a forward facing seat. Public transport type buses (ie those designed for urban routes carrying standing passengers) are not required to have seat belts fitted.

Most PSVs which can carry up to 16 passengers and were first used on or after 1st October 1988 must have seat belts for the driver and front passenger seats and for forward facing seats.

Where seat belts are fitted they must be worn by passengers aged 14 years and above. There is an exemption in vehicles with seat belts being used to provide a local bus service on “restricted” roads (effectively 30mph roads only), or vehicles designed to carry standing passengers and in which standing passengers are specifically allowed. In all other circumstances seat belts must be worn unless the passenger has a medical exemption.

Children under 12 in the front seats (parallel with the driver) must use a seatbelt or the correct child seat for their weight. At present (August 2009), children 3 to 13 years are not legally required to use seat belts. Regulations will be put in place as soon as possible which will require these children to use seat belts, or where available, child seats / boosters appropriate to their weight (as in cars). In many cases child seats / boosters won’t be available because parents / carers don’t have them, or they won’t fit in this type of vehicle, so seat belts will have to be used. Children under 3 years may be carried unrestrained if there is no baby / child seat available. The seat belt should not be used for both adult and child if a child under 3 years is carried on the lap of an adult - in the event of a crash the child would be in danger of being crushed. Until regulations can be put in place, many organisations will wish to make it their policy that seat belts (or child restraints where possible) are used. Passengers must be informed of the requirement to wear seat belts. This may be done by means of an announcement by the driver or group leader, or by means of an audio-visual display presentation or by signs displayed at every seating position. It’s an offence to fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that passengers are so notified.

Where seatbelts are fitted, it’s also a legal requirement that drivers must use them. There are no exceptions to this unless the driver holds a medical exemption from a doctor - a Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing.

Small permit vehicles

The seatbelt rules for permit vehicles adapted to carry 8 or fewer passengers are the same as for cars. Every occupant must use the seat belt provided, unless they have a valid Certificate of Exemption. Children under three can’t travel unless they’re in an appropriate child restraint.

6.5 Disabled Persons

Disabled drivers or passengers may need to use specially adapted belts which may be different from standard belts. You should check with Mobility Centres who may know about suppliers in your area. For further information see Seat belts in minibuses, coaches and other buses (PDF, 34 KB).

6.6 Drivers Hours and Tachographs

Small vehicles and minibuses used under a section 19 permit are exempt from having a tachograph fitted. Volunteer drivers are not subject to any drivers’ hours rules. Drivers who are employees of the permit holder are subject to domestic drivers’ hours rules. In most cases large buses will need to have a tachograph fitted and used, and the driver will be subject to EU drivers’ hours rules. The vehicle may be fitted with an analogue or digital tachograph if it’s registered before 1st May 2006. A vehicle must be fitted with a digital tachograph if it’s registered on or after 1st May 2006 . You should contact DVSA if you’re not sure what rules apply for your operations.

6.7 Permits issued prior to 6th April 2009

Section 19 small and large bus permits issued prior to 6th April 2009 will remain valid until further notice.

Additionally, with effect from 6th April 2009, existing small bus permits may be used with vehicles which can carry 8 or fewer passengers. However, the passengers must be carried at separate fares. A private hire vehicle (PHV) or taxi licence will be needed if passengers are carried for hire or reward but not at separate fares. These licences are issued by your local licensing authority. Please refer to the ‘Definitions’ above and Annex 6 for examples of separate fares.

7. Section 22 Community Bus Permits

7.1 Who can apply for a permit?

Community bus permits are issued to bodies that operate vehicles without a view to profit and are concerned for the social and welfare needs of one or more communities, and that want to run a local bus service on a non profit making basis. Vehicles being used under a community bus permit can carry members of the general public.

What is meant by operating without a view to profit

Those applying for a section 22 permit must satisfy the traffic commissioner that the transport services aren’t run with a view to profit nor incidentally to an activity which is itself carried on with a view to profit. Organisations that are registered as charities usually qualify. However, a business which makes, or seeks to make, a profit wouldn’t normally qualify, regardless of how it uses any profits or income surplus.

You should read PSV operator licensing: a guide for operators (PSV437) if your organisation is a business carried on with a view to profit and it operates vehicles for hire or reward, as an operator’s licence is likely to be required.

For more detailed information about what constitutes operating without a view to profit please refer to ‘Definitions’ above.

You may be operating in breach of the laws governing PSV operator licensing if you use a vehicle under a permit with a view to profit, and could be liable to prosecution and have your vehicle impounded. DVSA will take seriously any breach of this legal requirement, and any suspected breach should be reported to DVSA on 0300 123 9000.

7.2 Applying for a permit

Section 22 permits can only be issued by traffic commissioners. You should send your applications to the Central Licensing Office in Leeds. Application forms are available from:

Application fees

There is a fee payable with the application. See the table of fees for applying for a section 22 community bus permit.

These permits are for use with vehicles adapted to carry 9 or more passengers. They can’t be used with small vehicles (8 or fewer passenger seats). You can apply to operate small buses (9-16 passenger seats) only, or both small and large buses (adapted to carry 17 or more passengers).

Before granting the permit the traffic commissioner will need to be satisfied that you have adequate facilities or arrangements for maintaining any vehicle you wish to use under the permit in a safe and roadworthy condition. The traffic commissioner will also need to be assured that any vehicle which can carry 17 or more passengers has been built or adapted to PSV standards. Whether you purchase the vehicle or hire it in you must ensure that any large bus you use under your permit has been issued with a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) or Certificate of Conformity (CoC).

7.3 Further information

A Certificate of Initial Fitness is a certificate that confirms that a vehicle has been built or adapted to meet the requirements of the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981. It’s issued by a DVSA certifying officer when the vehicle meets all the relevant PSV requirements. A Certificate of Conformity is for vehicles covered by a Type Approval Certificate. Type approval is the approval of mass-produced vehicles and components and the certificate sets the specification of a vehicle or vehicle component.

The vehicle approval process is changing and COIFs and CoCs are to be replaced by certificates issued under the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009. These certificates are for vehicles which meet standards set out in European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) or the New National Scheme (NNS). COIFs and CoCs will continue to be the valid certificate for older vehicles. You should check to see whether your vehicle has been approved either under ECWVTA or NNS, if it hasn’t been issued with either of the above, as it does require a certificate. For further information please contact DVSA.

These permits are to enable you to provide a community bus service which must be registered as a local bus service with the traffic commissioner. In addition to providing a bus service you may be allowed to use the vehicle to provide other services for hire or reward where this directly assists the provision of the community bus service by providing financial support for it. This may be useful to generate extra income to subsidise loss-making community bus services. You should advise the traffic commissioner at the time of making your application if you wish to use the vehicle for these purposes, and the request will be considered. The only services that you can provide under this provision are those which don’t require to be registered with the traffic commissioner as a local bus service.

You can’t continue to use the vehicle under the permit to provide other services, if you stop operating local bus services . You may be in breach of the PSV operator licensing requirements if you do.

How many permits do I need?

This depends on how many vehicles you’ll be using at any one time. You must have a permit for each vehicle that’s carrying passengers for hire or reward at any one time, and the corresponding disc must be displayed in the windscreen. For example, if you want to operate 3 vehicles at the same time, you must have 3 permits. You can apply for more than one permit on an application form. You can apply for more permits at any time if your needs change and you want to operate more vehicles.

Before you submit your application you should check with DVSA what the fee will be. The fee is based on the number of permits applied for.

7.4 Grant of your application

You’ll receive a permit if your application is granted, which will have a unique serial number and a corresponding disc with the same number. You should remove the disc and place it in the windscreen of the vehicle to be used. It must be fixed to the inside of the windscreen so that it can be easily seen from outside the vehicle but doesn’t obstruct the driver’s view. You’ll also receive a vehicle copy of the permit which should be placed in the vehicle being used under the permit.

The permits and discs are not vehicle specific and you may therefore move a disc from one vehicle to another. You may be issued with more than one permit. Each vehicle must display a valid disc when it is being used under the section 22 permit system and you can’t use more than one vehicle at any time under the same permit. So, if you want to operate 3 vehicles at the same time, you must have 3 permits.

For each vehicle used under a permit, the corresponding disc must be displayed in the windscreen.

The traffic commissioner may place a condition on your permit restricting you to vehicles adapted to carry 9 to 16 passengers. This means you can’t operate large vehicles under the permit. You should apply to the traffic commissioner for the condition to be removed and supply evidence that adequate facilities or arrangements are in place for maintaining the vehicle in a fit and serviceable condition, if you want to use a large bus.

Validity period

Permits and discs granted on or after 6th April 2009 will have an expiry date and will be valid for a maximum of 5 years. Permits and discs issued before 6th April 2009 don’t have an expiry date and will remain in force until further notice.

Old style permits issued prior to 6th April 2009 don’t authorise you to operate a large vehicle adapted to carry 17 or more passengers. You’ll need to apply for a new permit if you want to operate a large vehicle.

Conditions and revocation

Permits may be revoked (taken away), new conditions may be attached and existing conditions varied at any time by the traffic commissioner. The traffic commissioner may consider revoking the permit if:

  • the commissioner is no longer satisfied that you have adequate facilities or arrangements for maintaining any vehicle used under the permit
  • a condition attached to the permit is contravened
  • a vehicle used under the permit has been found to be unsafe and has been issued with a prohibition notice

Before taking any action the traffic commissioner may invite you to submit comments or evidence as to why such action should not be taken. You must return the permit to the traffic commissioner if it’s revoked.

Changes to the permit

A permit may not be varied so as to substitute another body for the body to which it was granted. This means that if your organisation changes its name or entity you should apply for a new permit to reflect the change. The existing permit and disc will need to be surrendered to the traffic commissioner.

A permit is not transferable to another organisation.

7.5 Running a local bus service

Outside London

Once your permit has been granted you can apply to the traffic commissioner to register a local bus service. Before you start the service you’ll need to supply the traffic commissioner with the details, including route and timetable, normally at least 28 days before you wish to start the service. A fee will be required with your registration application. You should check what the current fee is with DVSA before submitting your application.

Traffic regulation conditions may be in force in the places where there are traffic problems or severe traffic congestion, a potential danger to road users or concerns over the level of noise and engine emissions. These conditions apply to all registered local services within the affected area. DVSA will be able to advise you if there are traffic regulation conditions in force where you intend to operate. Should you wish to amend the details, for example change the timetable, or withdraw the service completely, you may do so provided you first vary or cancel the registration. You must also give at least 28 days notice before you change or cancel a service.

Within London

There’s a different system for local services with stopping places in London. Most services in London are operated under contract to Transport for London (TfL). Contracts are awarded following competitive tendering. There are also a small number of services that form part of the TfL bus network operated under a London Local Service Agreement with TfL. Other services operate under a permit granted by TfL.

You should contact the Licensing Manager if the service you wish to run has stopping places in London: Consultation Delivery, Consultation Delivery TfL Planning 11th Floor, Zone G8 Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ or email lsp@tfl.gov.uk

Further reading

You should also read A guide to Local Bus Service Registration (PSV 353A) and A guide to Flexible Local Bus Service Registrations.

The traffic commissioner will expect you to run your service as safely and reliably as a commercial bus operator.

You should have adequate systems in place to ensure that your services are punctual and reliable. Before registering a service you should be satisfied that the timetable is achievable at all times taking into account fluctuations in traffic volumes especially at peak times. You should continue to check that the timetable remains achievable and you may wish to consider periodic monitoring. Advice on adequate systems can be obtained from DVSA. Further information can be found in Annex 5 below.

7.6 Additional services

You can use vehicles under the permit to carry passengers for hire or reward for services other than the community bus service. Such additional services may only be provided where they will assist the community bus service by providing financial support for that service. For example, you could hire the vehicle out with driver to take passengers to the seaside for the day, provided that any revenue earned from doing so would provide direct financial assistance to the provision of the community bus service.

You can ask for this provision when you make your application or at any time during the life of the permit. You must not use the vehicle under the section 22 permit for hire or reward on this basis before approval has been given by the traffic commissioner. The services that you may provide under this provision are only those which don’t have to be registered with the traffic commissioner, ie you can’t operate a local bus service for profit, but you can provide contract hire where the vehicle is hired as a whole.

You should keep records for local bus work separate from those for additional services if you use your vehicle to provide additional services . This is so you’ll be able to show income earned from additional services and how it was used to provide financial support for the community bus service. You can’t continue to use a vehicle under the permit if you cease to operate any registered community bus services .

7.7 Vehicles used under a permit

Vehicle size

Permits issued on or after 6th April 2009 may be valid for use in any vehicle adapted to carry 9 or more passengers, including large buses. However, traffic commissioners have the power to place a condition on the permit restricting it to vehicles adapted to carry 9 to 16 passengers. You won’t be authorised to operate large vehicles under your permit if such a restriction is imposed .

So, permits will either be conditional, allowing the use of vehicles adapted to carry 9-16 passengers only or unconditional, allowing the use of larger vehicles as well. An unconditional permit will only be granted when the traffic commissioner is satisfied that there are adequate facilities or arrangements in place for maintaining a large bus in a safe and roadworthy condition.

Permits issued prior to 6th April 2009 are only valid to be used in vehicles adapted to carry 9-16 passengers. You’ll need to apply for a new permit if you want to operate a large vehicle.

Vehicle testing

All vehicles under a section 22 permit are required to be tested annually from the date of registration.

Vehicles adapted to carry 9 to 12 seated passengers are Class IV vehicles and may be tested at those MOT testing stations which are authorised to test such vehicles. Vehicles adapted to carry 13 to 16 seated passengers are Class V vehicles and must be tested at approved HGV/ LGV testing stations or specially designated MOT testing stations authorised to test such vehicles. Large buses adapted to carry 17 or more passengers must comply with the Class VI test and must be tested at approved HGV / LGV testing stations or authorised sites (where they’re tested by DVSA Vehicle Examiners).

Additional requirements

Large buses used under a section 22 permit must have a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) certifying that it complied with current PSV conditions of fitness when manufactured, a Vehicle Type Approval certificate, or a certificate of conformity issued under the Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009. You should check that it has the appropriate certificate, if you buy a used large bus.

Accessibility Requirements

Vehicles which can carry more than 22 passengers may need to comply with the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000, allowing access on the vehicle for disabled persons. Whether the vehicle has to comply depends on its age and what it’s used for. In general the Regulations apply to all buses and coaches which can carry more than 22 passengers, first used on or after 31st December 2000 and operating a local or scheduled service. A community bus service is a local bus service.

Vehicles covered by the Regulations are referred to as “regulated public service vehicles” and the requirements include:

  • a space for a wheelchair with suitable safety provisions
  • a boarding device to enable wheelchair users to get on and off vehicles
  • a minimum number of priority seats on buses for disabled passengers
  • the size and height of steps
  • handrails to assist disabled people
  • colour contrasting of features such as handrails and steps to help partially sighted people
  • easy to use bell pushes throughout a bus
  • audible and visual signals to stop a bus or to request a boarding device
  • equipment to display the route and destination

Further guidance can be obtained from the Department for Transport on 0300 330 3000.

7.8 Drivers Hours and Tachographs

Small buses

A small bus being used under a section 22 permit is exempt from the requirement to have a tachograph fitted. Volunteer drivers are not subject to any drivers’ hours rules. Drivers who are employees of the permit holder are subject to domestic drivers’ hours rules.

Large buses

A large bus will need a tachograph if either:

  • the registered bus route exceeds 50km
  • the registered bus service is less than 50km but the service doesn’t fall within the definition of a ‘regular’ service
  • the bus is used for additional purposes

A regular service is where the vehicle is used to carry passengers at specified intervals along specified routes, with passengers being taken up and set down at pre-determined stopping point(s) en route. Having a timetable available to passengers is an indication of a specified frequency and a specified route is taken to mean a precisely defined route.

A large bus won’t need a tachograph if the bus is being used to provide a regular service with a route of less than 50km. Your registered local service may fall within the definition, if you have any doubt please contact DVSA.

The vehicle may be fitted with an analogue or digital tachograph if it’s registered before 1st May 2006 .The vehicle must be fitted with a digital tachograph if it is registered on or after 1st May 2006.

Where no tachograph is required the driver is subject to domestic hours rules. Where a tachograph is required, the driver is subject to EU drivers’ hours rules.

Read more about drivers’ hours rules.

You should contact DVSA if you’re not sure about what rules apply for your operations.

7.9 Drivers of community bus services

The driver of a vehicle being used to provide a community bus service should comply with the driver conduct regulations as set out in the Public Service Vehicles (Conduct of Drivers, Inspectors, Conductors and Passengers) (Amendment) Regulations 2002. They must:

  • not speak to anyone, either directly or by means of a microphone when the vehicle is in motion, except in an emergency
  • not smoke in the vehicle
  • take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of passengers who are on, or who are entering or leaving, the vehicle

The regulations also impose duties and responsibilities towards wheelchair users and other disabled persons. They should:

  • take reasonable care to ensure that the wheelchair user or other disabled person will be reasonably safe in boarding or getting off the vehicle
  • ensure that any wheelchair user is correctly and safely positioned in a wheelchair space
  • know how to use any ramp or lift safely
  • ensure that any boarding ramp or lift is securely stowed before the vehicle is driven

7.10 Permits issued prior to 6 April 2009

Section 22 permits issued prior to 6 April 2009 will remain valid until further notice. However, they’re only valid for use with vehicles that carry 9 - 16 passengers. Should you wish to operate larger vehicles you’ll need to submit an application for a new permit.

As new permits will be issued with a new identity number your local bus service registrations will need to be renumbered. You’ll be advised of the new registration number once this is complete.

You’re advised to check with DVSA periodically for further details if you hold an ‘old style’ permit .

8. Drivers of permit vehicles

All drivers should be aware of the risks to passenger safety which can result from driving when tired. It’s not sensible to set off on a long trip after a full day’s work, whether that work involves driving or not. You should plan more rest breaks than are set out in the regulations, if you don’t drive for a living . Aim to have a 15 minute break from driving every 2 hours. If possible, share the driving.

Drivers should be given clear written instruction about their responsibilities covering all aspects of vehicle operation. They should also make sure they’re familiar with the vehicle and practise driving it, before carrying any passengers. Drivers must not use a mobile telephone whilst driving.

8.1 Driving entitlement requirements

All drivers of a vehicle operated under a permit must be 21 or over.

The rules covering the driver licensing requirements depend on the size of vehicle and when the driver passed their test.

Drivers who hold a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driver’s licence, a PCV Community licence or a Northern Ireland licence corresponding to a PCV driver’s licence, can drive (and be paid for driving) a permit vehicle of any size.

Drivers who don’t hold a PCV licence (or equivalent) must comply with the following requirements.

Small vehicles adapted to carry 8 or fewer passenger (section 19 permits only) Drivers must have held a full licence authorising the driving of vehicles in category B (cars) for at least 2 years and must be 21 or over. Drivers can be paid for driving a small vehicle under a section 19 permit.

Small buses (adapted to carry 9 to 16 passengers)

Different conditions apply, depending on when the driver obtained a full licence to drive vehicles in category B (cars).

i) Drivers granted a full licence to drive vehicles in category B (car, not automatic) before 1st January 1997.

These drivers were automatically granted additional entitlement D1, to drive a small bus not used for hire or reward. For as long as they hold D1 entitlement, these drivers may drive a small bus of any weight used under the permit. There is no restriction on them receiving payment.

On reaching the age of 70 the driver will need to renew their car licence. They can also apply to renew the D1 entitlement but will need to take a compulsory medical examination as they must meet required health standards. They can continue to drive a small bus under a permit on the same conditions as before, if they pass the medical examination. The renewed car licence and D1 entitlement are normally valid for 3 years.

ii) Drivers who passed their car test on or after 1st January 1997.

Drivers who pass their car test on or after this date are no longer granted D1 entitlement. Category B entitles them to drive a small bus but only if all of the following conditions are met:

  • they have held a full category B car licence for at least 2 years
  • they receive no payment or other consideration for driving other than out-of-pocket expenses
  • the vehicle has a maximum gross weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes including specialised equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers)
  • for drivers aged 70 or over, that they don’t have any medical conditions which would disqualify them from eligibility for a D1 licence
  • no trailer is being towed
  • where the driver’s licence only authorises the driving of vehicles with automatic transmission, that only a vehicle with automatic transmission is used

Drivers aged 70 or over who don’t meet the higher medical standards are not authorised to drive small buses. They can drive small vehicles being used under a permit, provided they have renewed their car licence.

For large buses

The driver can be paid and must hold either a passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) driver’s licence, a PCV Community licence or a Northern Ireland licence corresponding to a PCV driver’s licence.

8.2 Drivers Hours

Drivers who aren’t subject to drivers’ hours rules should make sure that they take enough rest periods and don’t drive when tired. Under domestic drivers’ hours rules, a driver must take a break of least 30 minutes after 5 and a half hours of driving. Under EU rules a break of least 45 minutes must be taken after 4 and a half hours of driving. The break can be divided into 2 periods, the first at least 15 minutes long and the second at least 30 minutes, taken over the 4 and a half hours.

Drivers of small vehicles

Drivers’ hours rules don’t apply to drivers of vehicles adapted to carry 8 or fewer passengers.

Drivers of small buses

Volunteer drivers aren’t subject to domestic or EU rules. A volunteer driver is considered to be someone who isn’t paid nor compelled to drive. The driver wouldn’t be viewed as a voluntary driver if they contracted to drive, or driving forms part of their contract of work. Non volunteer drivers are subject to domestic hours rules.

Drivers of large buses

Where there’s no requirement for a tachograph to be fitted, the driver is subject to domestic hours rules. This would apply when the vehicle is being used under a section 22 community bus permit, to provide a registered service with a route of less than 50km. Where it is a requirement for a tachograph to be fitted to the vehicle, the driver is subject to EU rules.

Read more about drivers’ hours rules.

8.3 Recording Duty

Drivers who also drive for a commercial operation are reminded to keep a manual record of their driving hours when driving a permit vehicle, where the vehicle is exempt from the requirement to have a tachograph fitted. Any time spent will be classed and recorded as duty time. Please refer to the section on mixed EU/AETR and GB domestic driving in the Drivers’ Hours guidebook. They’re also advised to inform their employer of this additional driving as it may affect their driving and rest time.

8.4 Driver’s CPC and driver training

The responsibility of driving a permit vehicle is one which should only be undertaken after careful consideration and proper training. Driving a minibus requires additional skills in order to be able to handle the vehicle safely; it’s not simply like driving a large car.

Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) has been introduced across the European Union to maintain high driving standards and improve road safety. The requirements are set out in the Vehicle Drivers Certificates of Professional Competence Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/605) which implement EC Directive 2003/59/EC.

You must have Driver CPC to drive a category D1, D1+E, D or D+E vehicle or vehicle combination, unless one of the exemptions applies. You must take 35 hours of Driver CPC periodic training every 5 years to maintain this qualification. This training is continuing professional development for bus and coach drivers and is designed to complement the individual driver’s work and be relevant to their every day job. Courses may include safe and fuel efficient driving (SAFED) style training, first aid, health and safety, drivers’ hours regulations and tachographs. Courses will also enable drivers to keep up to date with changing regulations.

Even if one of the DCPC exemptions applies, you should try to go on a specialist driver training course. Both RoSPA and the CTA run these - see Annex 7 and 8. It’s also worth contacting your local council to find out if they run a suitable course. If it isn’t possible to go on a course, get plenty of practice driving the vehicle so you’re fully familiar with it before taking out any passengers.

Find out more about Driver CPC.

All drivers are recommended to undertake regular assessment and training such as MiDAS - see Annex 7.

8.5 Lifts and ramps

The driver must be trained how to use it if a ramp or lift is installed on the vehicle, and must make sure that the ramp or lift is returned securely to its correct stowage position before the vehicle is driven.

9. Annex 1 - Designated bodies

Designated bodies have important responsibilities and obligations, and they need to have systems in place to ensure that they only issue permits to organisations who:

  • operate vehicles without a view to profit
  • won’t be operating any service with a view to profit
  • won’t operate any services that benefit or contribute to another organisation that is itself profit-making
  • won’t be able to operate vehicles safely - maintaining all vehicles in a roadworthy condition with safety inspections taking place

Where a designated body issues permits to itself, there should be evidence of an internal management separation between the staff issuing permits and staff responsible for operating vehicles. Staff responsible for issuing permits should be fully trained in the requirements of the Transport Act 1985 and the changes introduced by the Local Transport Act 2008. It‘s important to ensure that accurate records are kept of all permits issued and revoked, and that details are kept of permit holders.

Designated bodies will need to ensure that those to whom they issue permits understand that the permit won’t be valid after its expiry date, and it will be an offence to continue to operate services without a valid permit. They may wish to consider what systems they need to put in place to ensure that those to whom they issue permits are aware of the expiry date and have sufficient time to arrange for a new permit prior to the existing permit’s expiry.

In the event that a group ceases to be a member of the designated body then the body should exercise its powers and revoke any permits issued to that group. Please ensure that the details of any action taken against a permit holder are recorded in the returns to the traffic commissioner.

Both the disc and permit must be replaced with a new time-limited permit and disc if a disc or permit needs to be replaced (because, for example, it has faded or has been lost). The designated body’s records should reflect that the old ones are no longer valid, and if either the original disc or permit remain then they must be destroyed. From 6th April 2009, where a permit or disc is lost or destroyed, the holder is issued with a new permit and disc valid for up to 5 years.

Both permit and disc should be marked “SPOILT” in large letters if permits or discs are spoilt when being completed, and both copies should be retained by the designated body. Where this happens these should be included in the returns to the traffic commissioner so that they’re accounted for.

9.1 Returns to the traffic commissioner

Where a permit is issued by a designated body, the body must advise the traffic commissioner of that fact within one month of issue. DVSA will supply an Excel spreadsheet template for those bodies wishing to submit returns electronically.

Additionally, each designated body will need to complete an annual return every April, summarising the serial numbers of permits issued from the previous April to March. Where no permits are issued in a year then there should be a “nil” return. These returns should be sent to the Permit Team at the Central Licensing Office in Leeds.

9.2 New stocks

Any requests for stocks of permits should be made to permits@vosa.gov.uk or alternatively sent to the Permit Team in Leeds. There is no charge for the supply of stocks of permits and discs. It’s suggested that sufficient stock should be ordered to cover what it is estimated will be issued in a year (with a minimum order of 20), and stock re-ordered when approximately a month’s worth of stock is remaining.

9.3 List of designated bodies

A list of designated bodies is available from DVSA.

As the permit-holder it’s your responsibility to ensure that any vehicle used under your permit is in a safe and roadworthy condition. Great importance is attached to proper maintenance and DVSA has produced a guide entitled Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness: Commercial Goods and Passenger Carrying Vehicles.

10.1 Summary of Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness

There are 2 separate sets of vehicle checks and inspections that should be carried out. These are:

  • daily walkaround checks
  • vehicle safety inspection and routine maintenance inspections to be carried out at set intervals on items which affect vehicle safety, followed by the repair of any faults

These are in addition to the servicing of the vehicle and the MOT test.

10.2 Daily walkaround checks

These must be undertaken each time before a vehicle is used and are checks on things like engine oil, brakes, tyre pressures, warning instruments, lights, windscreen washers and wipers. They’re usually undertaken by drivers.

10.3 Vehicle safety inspections and routine maintenance checks

These inspections are in addition to the routine daily walkaround checks and the MOT test. The maintenance checks can be contracted out to a third party such as garage but whoever carries out the checks must be able to recognise faults such as parts wearing out too quickly. They should also know what the standards of performance and normal wear of parts are. You should have a written agreement with the contractor if maintenance is contracted out. DVSA can assist you on the form this should take. The person undertaking the safety inspection should sign the form declaring that, in their opinion, the vehicle is roadworthy.

You’re still responsible for your vehicle’s condition even if the maintenance is contracted out. Your permit could be at risk if the maintenance isn’t adequate.

Routine checks should be carried out at set intervals which are time rather than mileage based, eg every 6 weeks. The “owner’s manual” supplied with your vehicle should set the minimum recommended maintenance checks advised by the manufacturer. But, bearing in mind that passengers are to be carried on your vehicle, and possibly a number of different drivers used, you should carry out more frequent safety checks. DVSA recommend that inspections are carried out at least every 10 weeks. You must ensure that a safety inspection is carried out before it’s used, if your vehicle is used very rarely.

Specialist equipment should be inspected and serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. There are additional requirements for passenger lifts and ramps - see below.

Drivers must be able to report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that could adversely affect the safe operation of vehicles. Reports must be made in writing and you should make sure you record details of any work done to fix the problem. There should be provision to allow drivers to report nil defects, where no faults have been found. Drivers’ defect reports that record any faults should be kept for at least 15 months.

Safety inspections must include those items covered by the appropriate Department for Transport annual test. It’s vital that safety critical items, eg braking systems are checked regularly. Safety inspections should be subject to pre-planning and a maintenance planner or wall chart should be used to identify dates at least 6 months in advance of when they’re due. The system of safety inspections must be regularly monitored particularly in the early stages. You should be prepared to change the frequency of checks as appropriate based on your monitoring. Records of any remedial work carried out should be kept for at least 15 months.

The safety inspection report should include a) vehicle details b) a list of all items to be inspected c) when the inspections are carried out and by whom d) the result of the inspection e) details of any rectification work and f) a declaration that defects have been rectified satisfactorily. Staff carrying out safety inspections must be competent to assess the significance of defects. Assistance must be available to operate the vehicle controls as necessary. There must be a system to ensure that any vehicles with defects that are or could be dangerous are not used until the defects have been rectified. Permit holders who undertake their own safety inspections must have adequate facilities and tools available. They must be appropriate to the number and size of vehicles used.

Any change to maintenance arrangements or safety inspections for large buses must be notified to DVSA immediately.

10.4 Lifts and ramps

In accordance with the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER 1998) lifts and ramps must be thoroughly examined by a competent person at least every 6 months in addition to any regular maintenance specified by the manufacturer.

10.5 Hired Vehicles

When hiring a vehicle of any size the permit holder must make sure that the vehicle is roadworthy. When hiring a small bus it must comply with the relevant legislation regarding the conditions of fitness. A large bus must have a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) or certificate of conformity. More details of what is required may be found in Annex 3. You should note that this is not a complete list. The permit holder and driver are responsible for the vehicle’s safety and condition when it‘s being used on the road under a permit.

11. Annex 3 - Requirements for equipment and use

This applies to all permit vehicles except small vehicles and landrovers.

11.1 Equipment

The requirements concerning the equipment for a minibus used under a permit are given in Schedule 7 to the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (as amended).

The requirements for large vehicles are given in the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981.

The following items of equipment must be carried:

a) At least one fire extinguisher which complies with the specifications for portable fire extinguishers issued by the British Standards Institution, numbered BS 5423 or EN3 which:

  • has a minimum test rating of 8A or 21 B
  • contains water or foam

b) A suitable, clearly marked, first aid box which is readily available for use and kept in good condition. The following items must be kept in it in good condition and be in date:

  • 10 antiseptic wipes, foil packed
  • 1 conforming disposable bandage (not less than 7.5 cm wide)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • 1 packet of 24 assorted adhesive dressings
  • 3 large sterile unmedicated ambulance dressings (not less than 15cm x 20cm)
  • 2 sterile eye pads, with attachments
  • 12 assorted safety pins
  • 1 pair of rustproof blunt-ended scissors

The vehicle must also have a notice showing the maximum number of passengers it can carry painted in letters at least 2.5 cm high. This must either be on the outside of the vehicle at the back, or inside the vehicle as long as it can be seen from the outside. The seating capacity notice should also include the maximum provision for passengers in wheelchairs.

The requirements concerning the use of minibuses first used after 1 April 1988 are given in Regulations 42 to 44 and part IV of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 (Sl 1986/1078). For earlier vehicles Regulations 29 to 34 of the Minibus (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment and Use) Regulations 1977 (Sl 1977/2103) apply. The following rules apply to the use of a vehicle.

Passengers must not:

  • unnecessarily obstruct any entrance, exit or gangway
  • unnecessarily obstruct the driver or take their attention away from controlling the vehicle

The vehicle must not:

  • be used to carry any inflammable or other dangerous substance unless it is properly packed so that it won’t cause any damage to the vehicle, or injury to passengers
  • be used unless all windows are clean and in good condition
  • be either filled with fuel or have the fuel tank cap removed while the engine is running
  • be used to draw a trailer if its use obstructs one of the two exits to which all passengers must have access.

c) Buses carrying children to and from school must display a yellow reflective sign at the front and rear of the vehicle showing two children in silhouette.

12. Annex 4 - Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence and driver training

12.1 Drivers

The responsibility of driving a permit vehicle is one which should only be undertaken after careful consideration and proper training. Driving a minibus requires additional skills in order to be able to handle the vehicle safely; it’s not simply like driving a large car.

Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) has been introduced across the European Union to maintain high driving standards and improve road safety. The requirements are set out in the Vehicle Drivers Certificates of Professional Competence Regulations 2007 (S.I. 2007/605) which implement EC Directive 2003/59/EC.

You must have Driver CPC to drive a category D1, D1+E, D or D+E vehicle or vehicle combination, unless one of the exemptions applies. You must take 35 hours of Driver CPC periodic training every 5 years to maintain this qualification. This training is continuing professional development for bus and coach drivers and is designed to complement the individual driver’s work and be relevant to their every day job. Courses may include safe and fuel efficient driving (SAFED) style training, first aid, health and safety, drivers’ hours regulations and tachographs. Courses will also enable drivers to keep up to date with changing regulations.

Even if one of the DCPC exemptions applies, you should try to go on a specialist driver training course. Both RoSPA and the CTA run these - see Annex 7 and 8. It’s also worth contacting your local council to find out if they run a suitable course. If it isn’t possible to go on a course, get plenty of practice driving the vehicle so you’re fully familiar with it before taking out any passengers.

Find out more about Driver CPC.

All drivers are recommended to undertake regular assessment and training such as MiDAS - see Annex 7.

Tiredness

When planning a trip, work out journey times and distances in advance in order to plan your journey and avoid the risk of driver tiredness. Bear in mind that non-professional drivers (especially if they only drive a minibus occasionally) are likely to find driving more stressful than professionals. It’s therefore important to plan more frequent rest breaks than those laid down in the EC Regulations for drivers’ hours and, whenever possible, take another driver to share the driving. Don’t agree to drive unless you are fit: free from illness, medication, alcohol. You should seek the advice of a doctor if you’re in any doubt as to your fitness to drive.

Emergencies

Make sure the vehicle carries a fully equipped first aid kit and a fire extinguisher and the driver knows how to use them. Drivers should know and understand what to do in the case of an emergency such as illness, vehicle breakdown or accident. Before leaving on a longer trip, arrangements should be made for a telephone contact point in the home base area.

Luggage

Drivers should make sure that vehicles aren’t overloaded. It’s important to take into account the weight of luggage and equipment. Stow luggage and equipment carefully in order not to obstruct gangways and exit doors. Make sure luggage is securely fastened and be aware of the added height of the vehicle, if using a roof rack. Don’t exceed the capacity of the roof rack or the vehicle’s gross vehicle weight.

Passengers

The vehicle mustn’t carry more passengers than it’s adapted to carry. Passengers should remain seated (unless the vehicle is certified to carry standing passengers) while the vehicle is moving and seatbelts must be worn if fitted. The driver must keep the doors closed until the vehicle is brought to a complete stop. The vehicle should always be parked so passengers can alight on the pavement not on the road. Where passengers have to exit from the rear of the minibus, they should be supervised until safely away from traffic hazards.

Passenger Assistants

It should be normal practice to provide passenger assistants for passengers with mobility problems or special needs and it’s also good practice to take an additional adult to help supervise parties of children on long journeys. Where specialist equipment is fitted, such as wheelchair restraint systems and passenger lifts, it’s essential that both drivers and passenger assistants are trained in how to use them. Training for passenger assistants is available from the CTA.

Lifts and ramps

Before starting a journey any lifts or ramps should be checked to make sure that they’re working correctly. Any person using this equipment must be trained so that the equipment is used in a safe manner.

13. Annex 5 - Running local bus services

This applies to community bus services provided under a section 22 permit. Vehicles used under a section 19 permit can’t be used to provide a registered local bus service and can’t be used to carry members of the general public.

A local service is one where passengers are carried at separate fares over short distances. The route can be of any overall length, as long as throughout its length passengers can get off within 15 miles (24.15 km) (measured in a straight line) of the place where they were picked up.

13.1 Separate fares

A separate fare is where each passenger makes a separate payment to the driver, conductor or agent of the permit holder to use the service. The passengers may pay as they get on the bus, or they may buy tickets in advance, have season tickets or use concessionary passes. Payment can also be by an indirect means, such as concert tickets which include travel or subscription to a club which includes travel.

13.2 Registrations

A registration is a notice of the local service you want to operate. To register the service outside London you must give the traffic commissioner a full description of the service you’ll be running. Details of your service and any subsequent variations or cancellation will be published in Notices and Proceedings. Notices and Proceedings, often know as ‘Ns and Ps’, is a fortnightly publication issued by each traffic commissioner. The publication lists such matters as details of licence applications; decisions on those applications; forthcoming public inquiries; and details of applications to register, vary and cancel local bus services.

Community bus operators are expected to run their services as reliably and punctually as professional operators. Further advice on eligibility and how to register bus services can be found in the guidebook PSV 353A for England and Wales and PSV 353A for Scotland entitled Local Bus Service Registration. Contact DVSA for further advice.

13.3 Standards for local bus service

It should be the overriding aim operators to run their registered services to their published timetables. Your permit may be revoked - taken away from you - if you fail to run your service correctly .

14. Annex 6 - Separate fare examples

Example 1: A section 19 permit holder operates a Dial-a-Ride service for disabled people and their carers. Each person (disabled person or carer) pays a fixed fare of £2 for any journey. Here, separate fares are clearly being paid.

Example 2: As above, but each fare-paying disabled person may be accompanied by a carer for no additional charge. Here, if one disabled person (A) and his/her carer (B) travel on the vehicle, a single £2 fare covers both their journeys. A and B are not paying separate fares. But, so long as there is a possibility of other passengers travelling on the vehicle (ie it’s not an exclusive hiring where A and B are promised that no other passengers will be carried), our view is that separate fares are still being charged - because if another passenger wishes to travel, he or she will have to pay a separate £2 fare.

Example 3: A residential care home for disabled people is organising a trip to the seaside for some of its residents. The care home hires in a people carrier with eight passenger seats, with the services of a driver, for a fixed charge of £50. The vehicle is made exclusively available to the care home - there’s no public advertisement of the trip and people unconnected with the care home can’t travel. The care home asks each person going on the trip to pay a share of the transport costs. But the £50 charge for the hire of the vehicle is fixed, regardless of how many residents actually travel on the vehicle. Although the care home residents are making individual payments to the care home, the transport operator is not involved in that arrangement. So far as the operator is concerned, he is hiring out the vehicle as a whole, for a fixed £50 fee - his income is unaffected by the number of people travelling. In this case, our view is that the vehicle is being operating as a private hire vehicle, and should not be operated under a PSV operator’s licence or a community transport permit.

Example 4: A charity is organising a trip to the seaside for disabled people on a particular day. It advertises this trip within the local area, at a fare of £10 per passenger. The residential care home mentioned in Example 3 becomes aware of this trip. Five of its residents want to go on the trip, so one of the care home workers collects their £10 fares, and passes on the £50 total to the transport provider. The care home and the residents are aware that other disabled people may also be transported on the same vehicle - it’s not an exclusive hiring for the 5 care home residents. In this example, our view is that separate fares are being paid - if a sixth person wants to travel on the same journey, they can do so, but a further £10 fare will have to be paid in respect of that passenger to the charity organising the trip. Assuming the charity organising the trip is eligible for a section 19 permit, the service can be provided under that permit. The service must not be operated with a view to profit. In other words, the fare must be set at such a level that (based on a reasonable expectation of how many passengers are likely to travel on the trip) it does not expect to make a profit.

15. Annex 7 - Contacts

Central Licensing Office

Monday to Friday, 7:30am to 6pm

The table below shows the coverage of the different traffic areas and the addresses for the local Office of the Traffic Commissioner. The addresses for the Office of the Traffic Commissioner should not be used for general correspondence.

Traffic Area Responsible for Office of the Traffic Commissioner
North Eastern The metropolitan boroughs within South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire. The counties of Durham, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire and North Yorkshire. The districts of East Riding of Yorkshire, Hartlepool, Kingston upon Hull, Middlesbrough, North Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees. Hillcrest House 386 Harehills Lane Leeds LS9 6NF Tel 0300 123 9000 Fax 0113 2488521
North Western The metropolitan boroughs within Greater Manchester and Merseyside. The counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire and Lancashire. Suites 4-6, Stone Cross Place, Stone Cross Lane North, Golborne, Warrington WA3 2SH
Eastern The counties of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire (except the Districts of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire), Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Suffolk. City House, 126-130 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 1NP
West Midlands The metropolitan boroughs within the West Midlands. The counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. 38 George Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1PL
Welsh (Cymru) Wales (Cymru) 38 George Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1PL
Western The counties of Berkshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire The districts of Bristol and Isle of Wight. Jubilee House, Croydon Street, Bristol, BS5 ODA
South Eastern and Metropolitan The counties of Kent, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex Ivy House, 3 Ivy Terrace, Eastbourne, BN21 4QT
Scottish Scotland Level 6 The Stamp Office Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3EG

15.1 DVSA

Berkeley House Croydon Street Bristol BS5 0DA 0300 123 9000 https://www.gov.uk/dvsa

15.2 Bus Service Operator’s Grant (BSOG)

F14 Ashdown House Sedlescombe Road North St Leonards-on-Sea East Sussex TW37 7GA 020 7944 8588 FDR@dft.gsi.gov.uk

15.3 Other organisations

Organisation Contact details Areas covered
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Edgbaston Park 353 Bristol Road Edgbaston Birmingham B5 7ST Tel: 0121 248 2000 Offer advice and run training courses for volunteer drivers.
MiDAS (The Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) For the county of Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton: Passenger Transport Group Environment Department Hampshire County Council The Castle Winchester SO23 8UD Tel: 01962 845 848 For the rest of the UK and Ireland: Community Transport Association Highbank Halton Street Hyde Cheshire SK14 2NY Tel: 0161 351 1475 MiDAS is part of a suite of training modules designed for minibus drivers in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors. MiDAS provides organisations with the means to assess and train its drivers and passenger assistants to a nationally recognised standard. It also includes a module for drivers of cars and MPVs.
ACEVO 1 New Oxford Street London WC1A 1NU Tel: 0845 345 8481 Fax: 0845 345 8482 info@acevo.org.uk ACEVO is the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations. They connect, develop and represent the third sector’s leaders.

16. Annex 8 - The Community Transport Association

The Community Transport Association (CTA) is a designated body that can issue permits to its members. They offer free advice and information via their advice line on all aspects of minibus and accessible transport operation, including advice for passenger assistants.

Advice leaflets are downloadable from their website.

Members of the CTA are kept informed of any changes in legislation or best practice associated with operating not-for-profit transport. Access is also provided to development support including training and funding advice. The CTA influences National, Regional and local Government on behalf of its members, representing members’ view and empowering organisations to provide quality services.

The CTA produces a Quality Mark which recognises compliance and good practice by not-for-profit organisations.

They can be contacted at: Central support office, Aeroworks, 5 Adair Street, Manchester, M1 2NQ

Central Support Office

Tel: 0161 351 1475 Email: info@ctauk.org Website: www.ctauk.org

Advice Service

Tel: 0345 130 6195 Email: advice@ctauk.org

17. Annex 9 - Useful publications

You may also find the following publications useful:

The following publication can be obtained free of charge from The Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR:

  • The Safety of Passengers in Wheelchairs on Buses (VSE 87/1)

The Community Transport Association (CTA) can also provide information and advice - see Annex 8 for contact details.

18. Annex 10 - Legislation

The relevant legislation can be found in sections 18 to 23A of the Transport Act 1985. Further requirements and conditions are prescribed in the Section 19 Permit Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/365) and the Community Bus Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/366). You can find copies of the regulations on the legislation.gov.uk website.