Department for Transport Consultation – Supporting Your Response

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In February 2018, the UK Government launched its consultation on the use of section 19 and 22 permits following a change to how it thinks EU Regulation 1071/2009 on PSV operators should be applied in England, Wales and Scotland.

Our team has spent the last month working with our members and supporters to develop resources and guidance to support you to respond to the consultation, which we are launching today. You can find that guidance at the end of this blog 

Before that, I wanted to share where I think we are right now and what we need to do in the next month.

Everything that has come up in all the conversations we’ve had comes down to three big issues.

1) Things are still unclear.

Before last summer things seemed clear – we had commonly accepted interpretations of the law that only a handful of detractors weren’t prepared to go along with. We still stand by the principle that being a non-commercial entity means all your services are non-commercial and still want to convince the DfT that they should do the same.

We lost that clarity with the Department for Transports’ letter of 31 July and this uncertainty has had a massively destabilising effect on many charities, their commissioners and their passengers – as much as any actual proposed changes themselves.

We hoped this uncertainty would be short-lived once the consultation came out, but in its current form, the proposed guidance doesn’t provide the much-needed clarity the sector was expecting to see. By parking the question over how Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) applies, the consultation also prolongs the uncertainty for thousands of organisations that don’t have transport as their main activity as well as mainstream community transport operators.

We accept there needs to be room for discretion because every eventuality and permutation cannot be mapped out, but what we have at the moment just throws a blanket of doubt over everything that holders of section and 19 and 22 permits do and could damage far more than the provision of local authority contracts.

The Department’s proposed solutions assume the world to be nice and neat with decisions about licences, money and contracts being simple, linear and sequential. We know the world is more complex and dynamic and we need to show how.

What will help is our sector providing information and examples through the consultation and during DfT events that address the lack of a real-world view in the language and labels they are using and the processes they assume take place when services are commissioned and licences or permits are issued.

2) Outsourcing enforcement to commercial operators is unworkable.

There are no credible means of directly assessing if competition exists that can inform a judgement on whether exemptions from the regulations can be applied. The Department, therefore, has to find a way to infer this through some other means. We think allowing commercial operators to be the arbiters is the completely wrong approach and we have to work as a sector to provide a better more workable solution.

It may be that local authorities are better placed to do this because they at least have public accountability but this won’t solve all the problems we foresee.

3) This is unfair.

By accepting a premise that any transaction in any form makes something commercial, the proposed changes will wipe out many more charities than the Department intended i.e. not just those who compete for contracts. And once the impact of applying the same principles to Driver CPC is realised this will take out even more charities or make many of the things they currently do unviable in the future.

We do not believe this was the intention of the Department for Transport, but it will be the outcome if they do not reconsider their guidance.

The people this is most unfair on is our passengers, especially those who can’t access mainstream services or don’t have cars and rely on community transport. They are rightly alarmed that there seems to be no assessment of how this will impact on their quality of life.

Having taken this action to avoid a day in court with a bully, the UK Government now faces the very real prospect of a legal challenge from some of our most isolated and vulnerable citizens for not having paid sufficient attention to how these reforms will impact on them. We know they care about the same things we do, so this cannot be something they want.

This is not just about transport. It’s about the kind of country we want to live in. Let’s spend the next month working together to show everyone what that looks like.

Download our guidance and resources:

Please click the links below to download our resources:

  • Download CTA’s Guidance DocumentThis document is intended to support CTA members to respond to the UK Government’s consultation. It explains our take on why the questions are being asked, what we think of the issues they address and suggests the types of information you could use to illustrate the nature and value of your services as well as your views on the proposals.

CTA’s Guidance Document also references the following documents:

Impact flowchart. If you are unsure whether or how the Department’s proposed changes might affect your organisation, you can use this flowchart to aid your understanding.

– Cost calculators. You can use these two calculators to get an estimation of how much the Department’s proposed changes could cost your organisation if you had to a) start using a PSV O licence or b) if you wouldn’t need a PSV O licence but your drivers require a Driver CPC. You can use the impact flowchart to understand which calculator to use.

If you have any questions on any of these resources please email hello@ctauk.org

What comes next:

We want to show the Department for Transport how their proposed changes are unclear, unworkable and unfair, and in the coming weeks we’ll be encouraging all CTA members to join in some campaign actions to get their passengers, communities and politicians talking about the impact.

We’ll also be issuing supplementary guidance which explore some of the issues in greater depth, such as impact on local authority commissioning practices.

19 comments

  1. Really scary. We are trying to set up a community transport service for a whole community now without any buses to speak of and isolated & not wealthy, with grant funding that has time restraints – it’s an innovative scheme and will not ever make a profit and our drivers will not be salaried but part timers, paid by the hour. We’ll not fit into any govt pattern but without our scheme, the community will die. When is the deadline for the survey? I’m away for 2 weeks now but would like to talk when I get back. wendynbond@btinternet.com I am a volunteer! Help!

    Like

    1. Hi Wendy, thanks for your comment and your story about how the changes will impact your community.

      The Department for Transport’s consultation closes on 04 May and it would be great if you could submit a response. You can find our guidance here http://www.ctauk.org/UserFiles/Documents/Responding-to-the-Department-for-Transport-Consultation.pdf and if you need any additional help and support please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  2. We are a not for profit organisation and our transport is only to bring older people into the day service and take them home again. Our 2 drivers are part-time workers on a salary. If we are asked to comply with this if it’s passed by government then we will be out of business and around 130 older people per week (6760 older people per year) will become even more isolated than they already are which will have an impact on NHS services, so in one sense you are gaining on this new revenue but at the other end you are loosing big time because of the social impact it will have on other services.
    I am a very concerned manager of a very successful service day service that has been running for nearly 30 years. Our centre was opened by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh in December 1988.
    These older people have confidence in using our disabled accessible minibuses and their families know they are in trained safe hands. Our drivers are very involved in each individuals care package and understand what is required of them when going to pick them up. They might need to take a wheel chair, someone might not be able to be on the bus for a long period because of incontinence so will be dropped off first. They might need help putting their shoes on etc. Taxi drivers wouldn’t do all this and certainly wouldn’t know the persons background.

    I just feel we are being penalised by the European Union as we only have a few months left before we are out, yet suddenly after many years of nothing happening with this, suddenly it seems to be being pushed through quickly, Why?

    Like

    1. Hi Jacqueline, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your organisation.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which will also be applicable to your organisation as running transport isn’t your organisation’s primary purpose. You can find this here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  3. Good afternoon,
    We are a large primary school in Stoke on Trent with 3 mini buses. We are situated in a deprived area and we believe that taking our children on educational experiences using our mini buses enriches their lives. We have 120 staff, the majority of which haven’t got the D1 classification on their licenses. Therefore, the legislation implemented by the DfT will have a severe financial impact on our already hard-pressed budget, and a further negative impact on what we are able to provide for our pupils.
    Please reconsider this legislation for not for profit organisations.
    Yours
    Jackie Williams
    Principal, The Crescent Academy

    Like

    1. Hi Jackie, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your school.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  4. Good afternoon,
    I am an adult leader in our local Boys’ Brigade and Girls’ Association and we have three adult trained MiDaS drivers, myself included, who use our community mini-bus to take members to various activities throughout the year including an annual summer activity camp. The proposed changes to the current legislation would be extremely detrimental to our group along with many other local youth groups who benefit from having MiDaS trained drivers who can access our community mini-bus for a variety of activities throughout the year. Not so long ago we could take our community mini-bus to Europe until “they” changed their legislation, limiting driving vehicles with no more than 7 passengers. With the government concerned about children’s health and wellbeing this suggested change in legislation will only mean that many more youngsters are deprived of the opportunity to participate in sports and other physical activities, thus increasing obesity levels putting more pressure on our health service and potentially our police service as youngsters will have more time on their hands. It will also have a massive impact on the manufacturers of mini-buses as there will be no sales whatsoever if this legislation is passed.

    Like

    1. Hi David, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your organisation.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which will also be applicable to your organisation as running transport isn’t your organisation’s primary purpose. You can find this here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  5. Good afternoon,
    We are a small secondary school with 4 mini buses. We are situated in a rural area and the cost of transport to enable our students to take part in events and challenges at other schools in North Lincolnshire would be unaffordable without using them. We have, in particular, a high level of participation in sporting events throughout the county and further afield, which we would not be able to sustain without using our minibuses, as the cost of the CPC training is not affordable with the funding we receive, which is being squeezed year on year. We have 12 staff who drive the buses, but the majority do not have the D1 classification on their licenses. The legislation implemented by the DfT will have a severe financial impact on our already stretched budget, and a negative impact on what we are able to provide in future for our students.
    Please reconsider this legislation for not for profit organisations.
    Andrea Harkin
    Business Manager
    The Axholme Academy

    Like

    1. Hi Andrea, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your school.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  6. Good Afternoon
    We are a co-educational community special school In Blackpool, catering for children 2-19 years old with a wide range of special educational needs. We currently have 2 mini buses, with the majority of drivers not having the D1 classification. There will be a severe financial impact on the school if this legislation is implemented, something the school does not have the budget for. As a special school in Blackpool the minibuses enable us to provide invaluable learning experiences for our children and without access to this will greatly impact on the experiences we are able to offer our children.
    Please reconsider this decision and consider the impact on not for profit organisations
    Many thanks
    Lisa Tupman
    School Business Manager, Highfurlong School

    Like

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your school.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  7. We are a young people’s charity supporting over 100 youth clubs across Lancashire. The vast majority of our member clubs provide positive social development opportunities and new experiences to disadvantaged young people in locations that require the transportation of young people away from the club to new venues. This includes adventurous activity, residentials, county, regional and national events. Many clubs have part-time paid staff who are occasionally required to drive a minibus to transport the young people. These clubs are in no way able to afford to put their part-time staff through this training therefore if this law comes into effect will deprive thousands of disadvantaged vulnerable young people from experiences that support their social development. This law will cripple charities who struggle to secure volunteers and pay staff just a few hours per week.

    Like

    1. Hi Adrian, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your organisation.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools respond to the consultation, which will also be applicable to your organisation and your youth clubs as running transport isn’t your primary purpose. You can find this here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  8. Good Morning

    We are a FE college in Carlisle with 1 mini bus. We believe that taking our students on educational experiences using our mini bus enriches their lives and provides critical access to alternative experiences and approaches to learning and the workplace. We have 250 staff, the majority of which haven’t got the D1 classification on their licenses, and we operate under the permit 19 scheme, ensuring MIDAS training for all drivers. Therefore, the proposed legislation by the DfT will have a severe financial impact on our already hard-pressed budget, and a further significant negative impact on what we are able to provide for our students.

    Please reconsider this legislation for not for profit organisations.

    Many thanks

    Marc Gillen

    H&S Officer

    Carlisle College

    Like

    1. Hi Marc, thanks for your comment and your story about how these changes would affect your college.

      It would be great if you could also respond to the Department for Transport’s consultation to let them know the impact these changes will have. CTA has put together specific guidance to help schools and colleges respond to the consultation, which you can find here: https://bit.ly/2vFvWCT We would also encourage you to write to your MP and let them know about how the changes could affect you – you can find some templates here: https://bit.ly/2HmO0XP

      If you need and additional help and support in responding to the consultation please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us either by emailing hello@ctauk.org or by calling 0161 351 1475.

      Like

  9. We are a non profit making residential school for boys with SEMH based in West Yorkshire. We have 1 minibus that our students use in order to access activities, summer camps, school trips, sporting events, etc. Using our mini bus enables our students to access alternative educational and life enhancing activites. We have 108 staff, of which 29 have either a D1 of B1 liceence and are MiDAS trained, we operate under the permit 19 scheme. Therefore, the proposed legislation by the DfT will have a detrimental impact on our school finances which are already very tight. The cost of this proposed change in legislation would have a signicant impact on our students as we simply would not be able to fund the current level of outings we provide in our 24 hour curriculum.

    Like

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