Important Message to all UK operators of s19 and s22 minibuses

 

We are a collective of UK Community Transport operators who are greatly concerned
by the implications of DfT’s letter to the sector on 31st July. We feel that the
implications of the letter – if enforced – would have a catastrophic impact on the CT
sector and its ability to provide essential transport to the individuals and communities
that we serve.

We have launched a campaign to challenge this proposal and we invite you to join
us. At this moment the CT sector needs to use a unified voice and harness a collective
energy to make the necessary impact to ensure that we can continue to provide our
vital services. It is our belief that instead of what is proposed, a more holistic and fully
sympathetic review of the permit system is needed. We should explore all possible
legal means of challenging the DfT’s intended approach.
Our outline strategy is broadly to:

raise awareness at political level and argue our case to the key powers –
there is too little understanding of what we do and how we do it;

obtain an expert legal opinion as to whether in fact DfT is either required or
able to enforce the new regulatory approach – this is a complex matter to unravel;

provide a platform for problems and issues to be aired, and mutual
support to be provided – we should not feel alone at this time, this issue affects
all operators of s19 and s22 vehicles with more than 8 passenger seats, and for
whom transport is their primary purpose.

We are aware of the role and activities of the Community Transport Association
(CTA) on this issue, and we support their work. Many of us are long-standing
members of CTA. However, we do not believe that the CTA is able to provide the
necessary impetus and detachment needed for this task because of their close links
with and funding from DfT. CTA’s stated position is that it is “prepared to call on the
charities and community groups…to not resist these changes” and instead propose to
lobby for help for CTs to change to a full PSV operating model. We feel it is premature
and defeatist to follow CTA’s stance at this stage. Nonetheless, we propose to
work in parallel with CTA and to closely liaise with them.

We held an initial meeting on 17 August to discuss the need for a Campaign to resist
the proposals. A number of significant CT operators agreed to form a steering group
to establish the Campaign along the above lines. We are now seeking wider support
and funding to develop this Campaign. We have engaged the TAS Partnership Ltd to
provide practical facilitation, policy advice and to obtain an initial expert legal opinion

If you are interested in receiving further information and/or joining the fight, please
let us know via the campaign page;
http://www.taspartnership.co.uk/call-to-action/
Alternatively if you would prefer to receive non-digital communications, please contact
Sarah Huntley on 01772 204988, or email to sarah.huntey@taspartnership.co.uk

Please circulate this message to any other community transport or minibus
operator who you think is affected by this issue. Please also copy us into any
emails that you send.

Please join with us on this important journey –

We need to act NOW!

For further details or discussion, please contact Sarah Huntley at sarah.huntey@taspartnership.co.uk