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The future of transport and the voluntary sector in Wales - trouble ahead!

Date published: 17/04/2018

The Community Transport Association has been running a campaign since the Department for Transport issued logotheir letter which contained information about a change in their guidance and a proposed consultation.  

Whether you’re a member of the public, someone who works or volunteers for a not-for-profit community transport provider or users of those services, potential changes to how transport legislation applies could have a huge impact on you and your community. 

Transport is a lifeline for people of all ages. Being able to get out and about is vital to experiencing the world around us. Unfortunately, private cars and public transport are often not options for those who can’t afford them, have no local bus services, live rurally, or can’t use conventional public transport due to needing extra assistance or support.

Thousands of charities and third sector organisations across the UK currently run not-for-profit transport on a daily basis that exists to make sure everyone can get out and about, no matter what their circumstances or needs.

Why are these services under threat?
Currently, these organisations are able to use what’s called section 19 or section 22 permits rather than having to apply for a commercial operator’s licence, because they’re not making a profit from their transport services, and they can use training such as the Minibus Drivers’ Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) to ensure their transport services are safe and legal.

Now, following a challenge from a small group of commercial bus operators, the Department for Transport has proposed changes to the way that these not-for-profit transport operators should run their services.

The Department for Transport's proposed guidance will mean that an estimated:

  • 28% of all organisations running not-for-profit community transport will need a commercial operator’s licence to continue running their services;
  • 84% of all organisations running not-for-profit transport will have to ensure their staff and volunteers obtain a commercial minibus driving qualification if they want to continue to drive their vehicles;
  • 95% of all organisations running not-for-profit transport will be affected by these changes and required to spend large amounts of money to become compliant.

This means that this will affect traditional community transport providers as well as not-for-profit organisations that provide transport services such as churches, schools, youth groups, and charities such as the Scouts, Age UK, Mind or Scope.

What can you do?

In February, the Department for Transport launched a consultation on their guidance. As part of this,  the Community Transport Association is asking them to reconsider their proposed changes and they want you to either:

For further details and to find out how to respond to the Department for Transport's consultation, read more here >>>

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