Rating Manual section 6 part 3: valuation of all property classes

Section 181: bus stations and park and ride

This publication is intended for Valuation Officers. It may contain links to internal resources that are not available through this version.

1. Scope

This instruction applies to all bus stations and park and ride facilities.

2. List Description and Special Category Code

Bus Stations

List Description: Bus Station and Premises

Scat Code 036, Suffix S

Park and Ride

List Description: Park and Ride and Premises

Scat Code 040 Suffix S

3. Responsible Teams

This is a specialist class and responsibility for valuation will lie with the specialist teams within the business units. Queries of a complex nature arising from the valuation of individual properties should be referred to the NVU class facilitator via the class co-ordination team (CCT).

4. Co-ordination

The Civics Team (NVU) has overall responsibility for the co-ordination of this class. The team are responsible for the approach to and accuracy and consistency of valuations for bus stations/park and ride facilities. The team will deliver practice notes describing the valuation basis for revaluation and provide advice as necessary during the life of the rating list. Caseworkers have a responsibility to:

*follow the advice given at all times

*not depart from the guidance given on appeals or maintenance work without approval from the co-ordination team

*seek advice from the co-ordination team should any issues arise that are not covered in this instruction.

Scottish and Newcastle (Retail) Limited v Williams (VO) 2000 RA 119 and the subsequent Court of Appeal decision - Williams (VO) v Scottish and Newcastle Retail and Allied Domecq 2001 - rebus sic stantibus

Dawkins (VO) v Royal Leamington Spa BC and Warwickshire County Council [1961] RVR 291 - Per Sir William-Fitz-Gerald “To assess land as a school as if it were land used for some other purpose would be a violation of the principle of rebus sic stantibus

Westminster City Council v Southern Railway Co [1936] AC511 - Unit of assessment

6. Survey Requirements

6.1 Basis of Measurement

The basis of measurement to be adopted for bus stations and park and ride facilities is Gross Internal Area (GIA) of all buildings/shelters and canopies (see VO Code of Measuring Practice for Rating Purposes), plus the area of all hard surfacing and total site area.

7. Survey Capture

7.1 Bus stations

All buildings (offices/concourses) to be measured GIA. It is important the specification of the concourse is noted, especially where the structure incorporates a high proportion of glass and/or it is of irregular shape – here it of particular importance to capture the extent and profile of curved or “shaped” walls.

Concourse buildings will typically include: passenger waiting and seating area, public toilets, stairwell/s and lift/s, staff WC’s and showers, information desks, travel shop, offices, stores, plant room, internal walkways, drivers’ mess room/canteen and kitchen, attached cantilever (but not any other type) canopies. These should all be measured to one GIA (noting the presence or not of attached cantilever canopies).

Other canopies, such as umbrella, standalone and those not attached or linked to the main building should be measured separately to GIA. The presence of lighting, passenger seating and notice boards should be noted.

With regard to bus shelters the survey should record whether they are open or enclosed and specify the nature of construction (including whether they are of steel, aluminium or other construction and whether the roof is flat or domed) and make reference to provision of seating and artificial lighting.

All the bus station hard-standing should be identified and the total site area obtained (including landscaping). The survey should record whether the surfacing is tarmac or paved. It is likely it may be combination of the two.

Plant and machinery - record lighting columns, any CCTV and the presence and type of site boundaries/barriers.

7.2 Park and Rides

All buildings to be measured GIA with a description of building specification. All car parking land should be recorded and this split where part of the parking consists of “Grasscrete” or “Grassprotecta” and the remainder tarmac, concrete or block paving.

For park and rides it will also assist if occupancy rates can be obtained throughout the year to show average occupancy and peaks. Local Councils (often the operator) are a good source of information for occupancy rates and in many cases will have daily usage figures.

Plant and Machinery - Record all lighting columns, drainage lagoons, CCTV and the presence and type of site boundaries/barriers.

8. Valuation Approach

Rental Method. It is rare for the assessment of either bus stations or park and rides to be derived solely from rental evidence because:

a.bus stations vary so much in physical type; and

b.they are chiefly of value to local authorities and are very rarely let. Even where this occurs, the local authority only seek a nominal rent in order that buses will use them in preference to on street facilities; or in the case of park and rides to remove cars from the town centre to ease congestion.

Receipts and expenditure - this is rarely appropriate (if ever) for bus stations and park and rides, since neither are operated for profit. The value of occupation to the local authority lies in the socio-economic benefits.

Contractors Basis - Bus Stations and Park and Rides

Bus Stations

In the absence of reliable rental evidence the contractor’s basis should be adopted. It will, of course, be necessary to carefully examine the value derived from this basis in order to be satisfied that it reasonably represents the rental value of the bus station having regard to the concept of rebus sic stantibus. Building cost information is provided in the 2017 Cost Guide and Practice Note but evidence of actual costs should not be disregarded. Site value must be determined on the basis that the site is restricted to use only as a bus station. Site value must be determined on the basis that the site is restricted to use only as a bus station. In the absence of direct evidence the site value of town centre bus stations should be based upon the value of the prevailing land use in the locality less a discount of 20% (see Dawkins (VO) v Royal Leamington Spa Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council (1961) 1 RVR 291. )But this is not expected to be below the value of car parking in the locality.

It may also be appropriate to make allowance for physical, economic and functional obsolescence and any superfluity which may exist in the bus station area. This must be determined on the facts as they existed at the AVD. See Rating Manual Volume 5 Section 7 for guidance on maximum percentage allowances. Special features which may need to be considered for end allowances include the levels of the site and the means of access for buses of all types including large modern coaches and advantages/disadvantages of the actual site in terms of shape and layout.

Park and Ride Facilities

Due to the scarcity of reliable rental evidence relating to park and ride facilities the contractor’s basis is to be adopted. The buildings at park and ride facilities tend to incorporate finishes such as glass and timber. This may reflect a planning requirement for them to blend with their neighbouring environment – they are often located on former agricultural land. A basic modern substitute building rather than the actual building should not be envisaged at stage 1 of the contractor’s basis unless there is evidence that the occupier could and would have provided a cheaper alternative at the antecedent valuation date( AVD) if given the opportunity to replace the current structure.

Superfluity allowance is not appropriate for perceived under-utilisation where peak periods are only met at certain times of the year. For example a park and ride facility may only be full during the run up to Christmas. Nevertheless this peak period should be reflected at stage 1 when considering the size of the substitute hereditament. It should also be noted that few park and ride facilities operate at peak capacity other than for short periods of the year.

Where new park and ride schemes opened around the AVD, superfluity allowances are not appropriate even when subsequent records are indicative of significant under-performance The under performance in these instances is only identified with the benefit of hindsight and would not have been envisaged by the landlord and tenant when negotiating the rent. Superfluity can be reflected at future revaluations.

9. Valuation Support

All valuations should be entered on the non-bulk server under the respective headings of Bus Stations and Park and Ride Stations.

Practice note: 2017: Bus stations and park and ride facilities

1. Market Appraisal

Bus Stations continue to be a crucial mainstay of local authorities’ transport policy, providing a central hub for both bus operators and the public alike. In recent years many bus stations have been built or modernised, often incorporating concourses with a high percentage of glass panels as part of the specification. Where possible the design of the bus station restricts passengers to the concourse, thereby reducing the risk of accident to passengers from vehicle impact.

The provision of park and ride schemes by local authorities has become more widespread as attempts to tackle traffic congestion and environmental problems have intensified. The success of a park and ride scheme is dependent upon on its location, the supply of parking spaces within a city centre and the charging policy of the local authority.

2. Changes from the last practice note

There are no changes (other than costs) from the broad principles followed for the 2010 List and the approach therefore remains the same as for the last list.

3. Ratepayer Discussions

None at present.

4. Valuation Scheme

The costs shown in this section are for ease of reference. In all cases where a cost guide code is shown that must be input into the Non Bulk Server (NBS) template, not the costs shown here. Where the cost guide code shows options, the costs shown in the practice note should be used to aid selection. Should the cost guide show differing costs to those shown in the current version of this practice note, please refer to the Class Co-ordination Team (CCT).

Bus Stations

4.1 Building cost guidance is provided in the Rating Cost Guide.

4.2 Where the bus station is situated beneath another structure, Stage 1 of the contractors basis should assume a substantive open bus station featuring only such buildings and structures as would be necessary in such a context. The advantage or disadvantage of a bus station situated beneath another hereditament is a matter for consideration at Stage 5.

4.3 Open Stations

The costs quoted for the buildings are all inclusive and may reflect all or some of the facilities of a concourse as referred to in paragraph 7 of the Rating Manual section concerned with this class.

Open Stations should be cost by applying the appropriate figures from the Cost Guide:

Description VO Cost Guide Code Cost Remarks
Roads, & hard standings & passenger paving 60P00H £85/m2
Areas of shale/hardcore hard standings(not drained) 60P00K £12/m2
Bus Shelters
Enclosed galvanised steel 60P10G £742/m2
Enclosed anodised aluminium 60P10K £2007/m2
Enclosed barrel vault roof 60P10P £2582/m2
Open fronted galvanised steel 60P10A £1377/m2
Open fronted anodised aluminium 60P10D £1769/m2
Bus Stations
Bus station medium size 60P00E £1990/m2 Standard quality. 2 storey
Bus station medium size 60P00A £2052/m2 Standard quality single storey
Bus station small 60P00C £3900/m2 High quality
Canopy(To concourse bus station) 60P00F £475-£760/m2 Include bases in concourse lighting and seating but not paving
Canopy (cantilever) 60P00J £220/m2
Customer/Public Toilet Block 63F00A –Z and 63F01A-E £1850 to £4,300/m2 Stand-alone-Select from Cost guide in accordance with size and specification
Office and Staff Toilets (Amenity Bldg.) 40500A £ 928/m2 Stand-alone(single storey)
Office and Staff Toilets (Amenity Bldg.) 40500P £ 896/m2 Stand-alone(two storey)

4.4 Obsolescence

The non-industrial age-based scale as provided in the Rating Manual section 4 part 3 should be applied.

4.5 Location factor

The factors set out in VO Cost Guide for the 2017 Revaluation should be applied to the above costs.

4.6 External works

An addition of 5% should be made for external works. This reflects connection to mains services, lighting, CCTV and landscaping.

4.7 Contract size adjustment

The aggregate of location adjusted building costs and external costs should be subject to contract size adjustment as set out in for the 2017 VOA Cost Guide.

4.8 Professional fees

Fees as set out in the 2017 VOA Cost Guide should be applied.

4.9 Land value

Site value must be determined on the basis that the site is restricted to use only as a bus station. In the absence of direct evidence the site value of town centre bus stations should be based upon the value of the prevailing land use in the locality less a discount of 20% but this is not expected to be below the value of car parking land as stated in the 2017 Land Value Practice Note.

4.10 Park and Rides

As the generation of profit is not the motive for occupation and rental evidence is unlikely to be available, in all cases the contractor’s basis should be adopted for valuation purposes.

4.11 The costs to be applied at stage 1 of the contractor’s basis valuation are as follows.

Description VO Cost Guide Code Cost Remarks
Roads, & hard standings & passenger paving 60P00H £85/m2
Amenity building 60P00G £1650-2250/m2 To include w/c, information centre, waiting rooms etc
Grasscrete/Grassprotecta 60P00F £56/m2

4.12 The external works addition, the age and obsolescence allowance, location allowance, contract size adjustment and fees addition are to be applied in accordance with paragraphs 4.4 to 4.8 above.

4.12 Land Value

The land values given in the 2017 Land Value Practice Note as appropriate for car parking land within the locality are to be applied. The exception to this will be in respect of those park and ride facilities located on the periphery of urban areas where it is considered appropriate to apply amenity land values.

The Bus Industry and De-Regulation

In 1986 Britain’s bus industry was de-regulated. The 1985 Transport Act abolished the highly restrictive licensing system which had operated for 50 years.

De-regulation permits anyone to run a bus service anywhere except in London. Efficiency, since de-regulation, has increased. Department of Transport figures show that the average operating costs per vehicular mile have fallen by 36% in real terms since de-regulation (largely through reductions in wages costs). Local authority subsidies for bus services have more than halved from £465 million a year to £219 million at 1991 prices. High frequency mini bus services have replaced less frequent double deckers. Total annual bus mileage has risen by 19% since de-regulation, reversing a long period of decline. The number of passengers has declined, but this can be partly attributed to a reduction in the number of concessionary/free passenger journeys granted by local authorities. Outside London, the annual number of journeys has fallen by 19% since de-regulation. In the metropolitan areas, it has fallen by 26%.

In London, the routes are still regulated but London buses have to compete with the private sector for the exclusive right to operate them. More radical deregulation is awaited in London, where in spite of severe traffic congestion, bus use has actually risen since 1986.

Low levels of profit have generally left operators unable to replace old buses. The proportion of vehicles more than 12 years old has grown from 19% before de-regulation to 34% in 1992.

The competition legislation introduced by section 115 of the Transport Act 1985, which came into effect on 26 July 1986, also affects bus stations. Under this legislation it can be deemed to be an anti-competitive practice to operate a bus station in such a way as to deliberately exclude a particular operator with a view to reducing or preventing competition. The usual practice is for the predominant operator to admit other operators to its bus station where spare capacity exists and to apply a departure charge on these operators. These charges rarely cover the costs of operations at these locations but do make a contribution to offset the main operators’ overheads.

As a result of the privatisation of the National Bus Company and de-regulation, the organisation of the industry has changed from a preponderance of large operators, many of which were controlled by local authorities to a much larger number of mutually competitive smaller operators. This transformation had, outside London, already taken place by 1 April 1988. The re-organised industry has inherited garages/depots which were built to suit the requirements of pre-1985. As a result there have been marked tendencies:-

a. to closure of superfluous garages/depots. In Greater Manchester 24% of space has been closed since 1985. Some of those which have been closed have been completed relatively recently eg. Tameside (beacon No. 1 in VO Cost Guide), constructed mid-70s, closed November 1991

b. to smaller substitute buildings, often on industrial estates. Some of these premises have such little adaptation from basic sheds that they should not be regarded as sui generis and can be valued on a rental/comparative basis. But in some cases these newer garages retain the inspection pits and kerbs which justify sui generis status and in some instances planning considerations will also prevent the VO from using industrial/warehouse rental evidence. One particular feature emerges from the design of more modern garages/depots: it is no longer necessary to provide roofed space for parked vehicles. A well fenced, surfaced, drained and illuminated yard is adequate for this purpose. There are exceptions, for example, in built-up areas where planning restraints relating to noise etc could result in a continued requirement for roofed garage space.

Practice Note 1: 2010: Bus Stations and Park & Ride

1. Co-ordination Arrangements

This is an SRU Class. Responsibility for ensuring effective co-ordination lies with SRUs. For further information see Rating Manual - section 6 part 1: Practice Note: 2010.

The Special Category Code 036 should be used. As a SRU Class the appropriate suffix letter should be S.

2. Approach to the Valuation

Valuers should have regard to the contents of RM 5: Section 180 in carrying out valuations for the 2010 Lists subject to the following.

3. Basis of Valuation

3.1 Rental evidence

A request for rental evidence across the network has resulted in a few rents being reported. Any rents that do exist need to be looked at carefully to test their true ‘at arms length status’ particularly in cases where located close to a major Shopping Centre with the same Landlord or in Local Authority ownership where there may be commercial incentives other than rent on the Station. In considering any useful rents care needs to be applied in the analysis to ensure the correct demise is identified as the rent may only include parts of the hereditament, i.e, building/s only and not the hardstanding (and other areas) or vice versa where any building may be a Tenant improvement. Any clean rents particularly in this latter scenario may prove useful in supporting the Land Value adopted in the Contractors Basis.

3.2 Receipts Basis

A receipts basis is not normally appropriate for this type of hereditament since bus stations are not generally operated for profit.

3.3 Contractors Basis

3.3.1 Building cost guidance is provided in the Rating Cost Guide and within the Bus Station Master R2010 Valuation Sheet.

3.3.2 Where the bus station is situated beneath another structure, Stage 1 of the contractors basis should assume a substantive open bus station featuring only such buildings and structures as would be necessary in such a context. The advantage or disadvantage of a bus station situated beneath another hereditament is a matter for consideration at Stage 5.

3.3.3 Open Stations

Open Stations should be costed by applying the costs shown in the Cost Guide:

Roads, Hardstandings & Passenger paving £70 per sq m
Areas of shale/hardcore hardstandings £15 per sq m assumes no drainage (if present add further £15/m2)
Bus Shelters Costs as indicated in Cost Guide and Valuation Sheet: Cantilever, open front, part glazed, £1500 psm Enclosed full glazed shelter, £1480 psm Barrel roof, £1900 psm
Buildings See Cost Guide Beacon and Valuation Sheet, range £1800 - £2400 psm: The price of £1800 per sq m should be applied to older basic/standard substantial buildings within a Bus Station. The most modern/superior buildings should adopt a price of £2400 psm
Basic cantilever type - £250 Superior, steel column supports including paving and lighting - £550 -£870
Public WCs See Cost Guide Beacon and Valuation Sheet, range for the average quality WCs is £1850-£2300 psm
Office & Waiting Rooms Adopt £920 psm

3.3.4 Obsolescence

The non-industrial age-based scale should be applied to buildings, but no age-based allowance should be applied to roads or shelters.

3.3.5 Location factor

The factors set out in VO Cost Guide for the 2010 Revaluation should be applied to the above costs.

3.3.6 External works

An addition of 5% should be made for external works

3.3.7 Contract size adjustment

The aggregate of locationally adjusted building costs and external costs should be subject to contract size adjustment as set out in VO Cost Guide for the 2010 Revaluation.

3.3.8 Professional fees

Fees as set out in VO Cost Guide for the 2010 Revaluation should be applied.

3.3.9 Land value

Site value must be determined on the basis that the site is restricted to use only as a bus station. In the absence of direct evidence it may be argued that the site value of town centre bus stations should be based upon the value of car parking land in the locality.

It is anticipated that the maximum figures appropriate for sites (such as Park & Ride) on the outskirts of any town will be the local amenity land value.

This property is valued using the non-bulk server. The manual can be accessed here.

4. Park & Ride

This advice is confined to those where buses pick up or set down passengers within the hereditament. Non multi-storey park-and-ride car parks will be valued on the contractor’s basis as Bus Stations above and Scat-ed according to this practice note.