Bus Services: North East

Department for Transport written question – answered on 17th November 2015.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many (a) complaints have been made about and (b) investigations have been conducted into bus companies by the North East Traffic Commissioners in each year since 2010; and what enforcement action has been taken as a result following each such complaint or investigation.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Traffic Commissioner for the North Eastern Traffic Area role is defined in the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 and is a regulatory role as opposed to an investigatory role. When complaints regarding the operation of Public Service Vehicles are received they are forwarded to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) who may carry out an investigation and provide a report to the Traffic Commissioner, should concerns be identified. Complaints and investigations may relate to issues of vehicle maintenance, driver behaviour or the reliability of local bus services. The Traffic Commissioner can request that DVSA conduct an investigation or DVSA may carry out an investigation under their own initiative. Between April 2010 and March 2015, 91 complaints have been received by the Traffic Commissioner relating to PSV operators.

The table below shows the number of public inquiries held between April 2010 and March 2015 at which the Traffic Commissioner considered regulatory action against the holder of a PSV operator’s licence.

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Total

Number of public inquiries completed

19

26

19

35

50

149

Licence revocations

7

10

7

9

25

58

Licence suspensions

0

4

2

3

3

12

Reduction of vehicles authorised on licence

3

3

4

2

2

14

Other conditions imposed on licence

0

0

3

3

0

6

Formal warning given

8

9

7

11

12

47

Disqualification of licence holder under the 1985 Act

0

1

2

4

4

11

No action taken

2

1

2

7

6

18

Penalty imposed under Section 155 of the 2000 Act

1

0

0

0

0

1

Note: the figures in the last 8 rows may not equal the number of public inquiries held, as more than one action may betaken against a licence holder.

DVSA started to investigate Bus complaints, under the BOAM (Bus Operator Account Management) scheme in 2012. The first recorded compliant is dated 04/01/13. The BOAM scheme covers complaints for late and early running services, under the Traffic Commissioner’s statuary guidance of up to 1 minute early and 5 minutes late. If a service fails to operate or if the services either cuts short a route or diverts from a route.

Between 2012 up to the present date DVSA received, 97 complaints. Out of those complaints DVSA investigated 94. Three complaints did not fall under BOAM, so were not investigated.

12 complaints were referred to the Office of the Traffic Commissioners once the complaint was investigated.

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