Community Transport raised at Transport Questions|19 October

James Coe Banner

At Transport Questions today, MPs asked Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, Jesse Norman, a number of questions on the future of community transport, following the Department for Transport’s letter to all permit issuing bodies on 31st July 

To keep our members up to date we have reproduced the questions for you here:

Robert Courts MP | Conservative MP for Witney & West Oxfordshire:

“Community Transport plays a vital role in connecting communities in rural areas, in West Oxfordshire and indeed throughout the country. And such groups are very worried about the impact of the issue and use of section 19 and 22 permits, could the Minister confirm that local community groups, even if they pay a driver and take a fare, will not be treated as commercial providers if they are registered as a not for profit organisation?”

Jesse Norman’s Response:

“First of all we are very strongly supportive of Community Transport operators in general, and the second is that we have been under some pressure to clarify the rules regarding local transport operators who are tacitly operating commercially. Now I’m sure that isn’t the case in Oxfordshire but it is the case in other parts of the country. If his local transport authority has difficulty, he’d be welcome to have them talk to my officials and, or the Community Transport Association.”

Norman Lamb MP | Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk:

“To return to the concerns of Community Transport operators, many are concerned, including North Norfolk Community Transport, that the new ruling will push them under, losing absolutely vital rural community transport links. What is the Minister doing to ensure that this doesn’t happen, and what’s the timescale for the consultation? When will this actually come in because the uncertainty is very dangerous?” 

 Jesse Norman’s Response:

“I fully recognise the concern, as you will know the Department are taking a very careful attitude; there will be no rapid over-enforcement on this, we will be giving people as much chance as possible to show that their activities are not commercial in an acquired sense. We launch the consultation later this autumn, and I think we’ll take it from there.”

Stephen Metcalfe  MP| Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock

“Mr Speaker, following on in the same vein, I recently met with Basildon Community Transport who expressed grave concerns and are already pointing at a neighbouring community transport operator who is closing because of the uncertainty around this. Will my honourable friend agree to meet with me, Basildon Community Transport and the Community Transport Association to clarify the situation?”

Jesse Norman’s Response:

“Yes of course. Well of course I have met the Community Transport Association and discussed at some length with them, as have my officials over some time, and with other community transport entities. I’d be delighted to meet him and his constituents.”


Since the Department for Transport letter landed our members across the country have been reaching out to their MPs.

If you would like to contact your local MP but are unsure who they are you can find their contact details here.

As ever, if you have any questions or need any advice, you can contact us at hello@ctauk.org

 

 

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