Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Richard Holden has urged members of the coach and bus industry to respond to the government's call for evidence (CfE) in a key review on the Public Services Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) which were introduced in 2000.  A survey has been launched calling for evidence from all sectors including members of the public into the improvements to bus accessibility following the introduction of the new regulations and asking for opinions on what further improvements might be made to ensure full accessibility across the whole industry.

The call for evidence opened in June 2023 and will close on 4th September 2023.  The main sections in the survey are:

  • The public's opinion on the effectiveness of the PSVAR
  • Ensuring compliance with the rules
  • The effectiveness of zero-emission buses
  • Measures taken on a bus for passengers

The survey asks potential respondents what improvements users of public transport would recommend for facilitating the use of wheelchairs on buses, such as having boarding lifts installed, wider entrances and exits, or anything more specific that an individual may wish to raise.

When the results are evaluated, it is expected that any recommendation that are accepted will make their way into the regulations, which could mean yet more investment by bus operators in their fleets to ensure that vehicles are compliant.  Speaking at the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), Mr. Holden stated that he understood the challenges to achieving compliance and recognised that any changes would have to "reflect the realities of operating [buses and coaches]".  It is therefore likely that as with the introduction of the PSVAR which was phased in over several years, any further changes would also be brought in over time to allow operators to fund the necessary infrastructure investment.

The government believes that the survey offers the opportunity to effect positive changes for passengers on public transport, which should encourage yet greater use and continue to ensure that the industry reflects the needs of its various users.

To have your say you may access the survey via the government website here.

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