Availability of accessible rail replacement coaches

kingqueen

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At the moment, under the Pubic Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, all buses that operate to a schedule and that carry any person or persons for whom payment has been made by somebody to anybody for their right to travel, are obliged to be wheelchair accessible. (Bar the 20-day-a-year heritage exemption.) Rail passengers have bought a ticket granting the entitlement to travel on rail replacement buses, which (theoretically) run to a timetable. So rail replacement buses have to be accessible.
Scheduled coaches don't have to be accessible, yet. As of 1st January 2020, they have to be in the same way as buses, as described above. NB: coaches used for private hire trips etc. aren't caught by this law, only those running to a schedule etc. as above.
I attempted to catch rail replacement services yesterday. There were many inaccessible coaches.
My concern is: come 2020, when there is a need for rail replacement buses, will there be sufficient accessible buses and coaches to meet the demand?
 
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I take the Tube to London regularly and it's definitely accessible with a wheelchair space and a reserved space for the Wheelchair buddy and has been for years.
 

Teflon Lettuce

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At the moment, under the Pubic Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, all buses that operate to a schedule and that carry any person or persons for whom payment has been made by somebody to anybody for their right to travel, are obliged to be wheelchair accessible. (Bar the 20-day-a-year heritage exemption.) Rail passengers have bought a ticket granting the entitlement to travel on rail replacement buses, which (theoretically) run to a timetable. So rail replacement buses have to be accessible.
Scheduled coaches don't have to be accessible, yet. As of 1st January 2020, they have to be in the same way as buses, as described above. NB: coaches used for private hire trips etc. aren't caught by this law, only those running to a schedule etc. as above.
I attempted to catch rail replacement services yesterday. There were many inaccessible coaches.
My concern is: come 2020, when there is a need for rail replacement buses, will there be sufficient accessible buses and coaches to meet the demand?
For the purposes of DDA compliance, Rail Replacement Services do NOT have to be DDA compliant at this moment, and nor will they have to be after 2020 under current legislation. This is because Rail Replacement services are legally considered a contract and not a scheduled service
 

kingqueen

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For the purposes of DDA compliance, Rail Replacement Services do NOT have to be DDA compliant at this moment, and nor will they have to be after 2020 under current legislation. This is because Rail Replacement services are legally considered a contract and not a scheduled service
This is incorrect.
The fact that the bus service is provided under a contract to the train operating company is irrelevant to the applicability of PSVAR (NB: the DDA hasn't been on the statute books for 8 years now.)

The sole aspects that determine whether or not the PSVAR apply are:

:- whether any one passenger on the bus has had any money paid by anybody for their presence on the bus, including where the payment includes other elements than just that bus travel.

:- whether the bus runs to a schedule.

According to the PSVAR,

"scheduled service” means a service, using one or more public service vehicles, for the carriage of passengers at separate fares—
(a) along specified routes,
(b) at specified times, and
(c) with passengers being taken up and set down at pre-determined stopping points,
but does not include a tour service.
Source: the PSVAR.
There is nothing in there that says that buses provided under a contract are instantly not classed as "scheduled".

A related case is that of school transport. Bus companies are contracted by local authorities to provide transport for those school kids entitled to free transport. That is ineligible to the PSVAR because no individual child has had any payment made by anybody to anybody in respect of their individual transport.

However, if any spare seats are used by other school kids who aren't entitled to free school transport, the bus becomes subject to PSVAR. That is irrespective of if a pupil pays a fare to the driver, parents pay a termly subscription to the local authority, or if the transport is paid for as part of the termly private school tuition fees.

The fact that the bus has been contracted by the local authority is not relevant to its determination as to whether it is subject to the PSVAR.
 

Teflon Lettuce

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This is incorrect.
The fact that the bus service is provided under a contract to the train operating company is irrelevant to the applicability of PSVAR (NB: the DDA hasn't been on the statute books for 8 years now.)

The sole aspects that determine whether or not the PSVAR apply are:

:- whether any one passenger on the bus has had any money paid by anybody for their presence on the bus, including where the payment includes other elements than just that bus travel.

:- whether the bus runs to a schedule.

According to the PSVAR,


Source: the PSVAR.
There is nothing in there that says that buses provided under a contract are instantly not classed as "scheduled".

A related case is that of school transport. Bus companies are contracted by local authorities to provide transport for those school kids entitled to free transport. That is ineligible to the PSVAR because no individual child has had any payment made by anybody to anybody in respect of their individual transport.

However, if any spare seats are used by other school kids who aren't entitled to free school transport, the bus becomes subject to PSVAR. That is irrespective of if a pupil pays a fare to the driver, parents pay a termly subscription to the local authority, or if the transport is paid for as part of the termly private school tuition fees.

The fact that the bus has been contracted by the local authority is not relevant to its determination as to whether it is subject to the PSVAR.
if what you say is correct then it would be illegal to operate any step entrance bus on rail replacement work NOW.
The fact is that DDA rules only apply to scheduled bus {and from 2020} coach services. At law a Rail Replacement bus is NOT a scheduled service but a contract and therefore isn't bound by DDA compliance
 

Bletchleyite

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There have been complaints that not all the Windermere RRBs have been disabled friendly.
Is not a taxi provided at the same time when the bus is inaccessible?

If not that to me is unacceptable, but I think most people would consider an accessible taxi (i.e. one you can wheel your chair onto and anchor it properly) to be superior to a coach, particularly the knackered old ones that tend to turn up as RRBs, therefore that this would be a reasonable adjustment.
 

kingqueen

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if what you say is correct then it would be illegal to operate any step entrance bus on rail replacement work NOW.
That is correct.
The fact is that DDA rules only apply to scheduled bus {and from 2020} coach services.
That is correct, with the exception that the DDA doesn't exist, as previously stated. We are talking about the Public Service Accessibility Regulations. Provisions in Part 12 of the Equality Act 2010 relating to public service vehicles replicate those originally contained in Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. As I said before, the DDA hasn't existed for 8 years now, so I don't know why you continue to quote it.

At law a Rail Replacement bus is NOT a scheduled service but a contract and therefore isn't bound by DDA compliance
That is incorrect, there is no such division in law. Repeating your claim does not make it any more correct. Unless you can somehow evidence your assertion to the contrary, I would suggest that repeating your unevidenced claim in this respect would be non-productive.
 

kingqueen

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Is not a taxi provided at the same time when the bus is inaccessible?

If not that to me is unacceptable, but I think most people would consider an accessible taxi (i.e. one you can wheel your chair onto and anchor it properly) to be superior to a coach, particularly the knackered old ones that tend to turn up as RRBs, therefore that this would be a reasonable adjustment.
It would be if it worked. But the realities are that it doesn't. There are often no local accessible taxis, or none contracted by the taxi booking service used by the TOC. Said taxis have to be procured from a long way away, don't know their way to the pickup or drop off points, are often or usually significantly late, the drivers don't clamp me in, I have to travel with my head, neck and shoulders pressed against the roof due to limited clearance, often have to travel backwards, etc etc etc. So whilst it sounds like a good idea and a reasonable adjustment in theory, it doesn't turn out that way on the ground. I would rather have an accessible bus.
 

Robertj21a

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The rail replacement service is not (usually) registered with the Traffic Commissioners as a scheduled service. As such it must be a 'closed' contract - for which PSVAR does not apply.
 

kingqueen

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The rail replacement service is not (usually) registered with the Traffic Commissioners as a scheduled service. As such it must be a 'closed' contract - for which PSVAR does not apply.
Whether or not it is registered with the Traffic Commissioners as a scheduled service is irrelevant to its determination as such for the purposes of the PSVAR. I have given the definition of a scheduled service, as defined by or in PSVAR. It makes no reference to registration or otherwise with the Traffic Commissioners.
There is nothing in the PSVAR to say that provision under a "closed contract" disapplies the legislation.
 

Teflon Lettuce

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That is correct.

That is correct, with the exception that the DDA doesn't exist, as previously stated. We are talking about the Public Service Accessibility Regulations. Provisions in Part 12 of the Equality Act 2010 relating to public service vehicles replicate those originally contained in Part 5 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. As I said before, the DDA hasn't existed for 8 years now, so I don't know why you continue to quote it.



That is incorrect, there is no such division in law. Repeating your claim does not make it any more correct. Unless you can somehow evidence your assertion to the contrary, I would suggest that repeating your unevidenced claim in this respect would be non-productive.
whatever the current legislation is called now, it is still colloquially known within the bus industry as DDA compliance!

As to my assertions as to what constitutes a scheduled service and what doesn't... well perhaps that has something to do with organising, operating and driving Rail Replacements! as I stated earlier, then if there is a requirement for Rail Replacement to be compliant then the law courts should be having a field day prosecuting all the bus and rail companies involved as many non- compliant vehicles turn up on rail replacement.

The fact is that, unless you have authority from the rail company to travel on the vehicle {ie you possess a rail ticket} you are not allowed travel on a rail replacement bus/ coach. It is a closed contract vehicle at law, in the same way as many school contracts are, as are private hires, as are
coach holidays.

If you truly do believe that there is no division at law between contracts and scheduled public services I strongly urge you to try getting on a vehicle that's being operated on a closed contract and see how far your insistence on travelling gets you!
 

kingqueen

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if there is a requirement for Rail Replacement to be compliant then the law courts should be having a field day prosecuting all the bus and rail companies involved as many non- compliant vehicles turn up on rail replacement.
The fact that a law is not enforced, or that it is widely ignored, does not necessarily mean that the law doesn't apply. It just means the law is widely ignored, often to the point that the people providing the service are unaware of the law.

An analogous example:

The Public Service Vehicle Conduct Regulations make it illegal for a bus driver to refuse to operate a ramp or to refuse a wheelchair user access to an unoccupied wheelchair space; and "unoccupied" is inclusive of situations in which passengers or their effects are in the space but can easily and reasonably move. Any driver failing to comply with this regulation faces punishment on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding Level 3 on the standard scale, and endorsement of their licence. This has been the case since 2002.

Yet no driver has ever had any legal action taken against them under this legislation. There is no body tasked with enforcing this legislation.

The fact that it hasn't been enforced does not mean that the legislation doesn't apply, it just means it hasn't been enforced. Such lack of compliance can become deeply ingrained and accepted as standard practice. The DVSA and the DFT are currently making formal enquiries of National Express and Megabus/Scottish Citylink after I revealed that both were refusing wheelchair users spontaneous access to unoccupied wheelchair spaces because they claimed they needed advance notice to prepare the space. Both have had a "36 hour notice" requirement for years, but are now being forced to change to correct their failure to comply with this legal retirement.

So with respect, and I genuinely mean that (I should imagine arranging and supervising rail replacement transport is a.major headache), the fact that you are under the impression that PSVAR doesn't apply to rail replacement vehicles, and you perform your job based upon this understanding, does not validate your assertion that PSVAR doesn't apply.

The fact is that, unless you have authority from the rail company to travel on the vehicle {ie you possess a rail ticket} you are not allowed travel on a rail replacement bus/ coach. It is a closed contract vehicle at law, in the same way as many school contracts are, as are private hires, as are
coach holidays.
You are incorrect in your assertion.
In actuality, if access was free without any rail ticket, then PSVAR would not apply. It is required that somebody pay somebody something in respect of each individual's right to be on that bus. It doesn't matter who pays, or to whom (it doesn't have to be the passenger, or the bus operator, or the train operating company), or even if the payment takes into account other things in addition to transport on that bus. As long as somebody has made a payment to somebody that includes at least in part the right of a passenger to travel on that bus, and that bus runs to a schedule, then PSVAR applies.

Private hire and coach holidays are different. So are school buses that are funded fully and exclusively by the local authority, but if any one passenger on that bus has had any payment made to anybody for their right to travel on it, the accessibility obligations kick in. This is why there are now examples of local authorities refusing to allow pupils or parents to pay the local authority or bus operator to travel in a spare seat on such buses: because the bus would then be subject to the PSVAR and would have to be accessible (and accessible buses are more scarce or more expensive.)

The collorary is: complimentary / free buses are not subject to the accessibility requirements. So complimentary buses to the supermarket, free city buses as used to run round Leeds city centre, and so on, are not subject to the PSVAR and are not required to be accessible - except for if they're "complimentary" to an event and tickets for the event are required in order to board them, in which case the cost of access to the transport is considered to be part of the event ticket.

A challenge: Show me where the PSVAR 2000 or Equality Act 2010 state that services under a "closed contract" are not classed as scheduled services and are thus exempt from the requirements.

Your reference to "scheduled public services" is incorrect by the way - a service doesn't have to be public before it is subject to the PSVAR. For example, school buses for which local authorities allow school pupils not entitled to free school transport, to use the bus on payment of a fee to the LA,, are subject to the PSVAR. Yet anybody who wasn't a school child at the relevant school, or hadn't paid the local authority for the right to travel on that bus, would legitimately be refused access to that bus.

The fact that a rail replacement bus isn't open to the general public, and that a rail ticket must be bought to entitle one access to the vehicle, in no way obviates liability under the PSVAR.
 

Clip

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If all that the op writes above is correct and I've no reason to doubt it, although others seemingly have a differing view which makes me think otherwise it begs the followoing:-

if true then why hasn't anyone taken a toc or company operating the buses/coaches to court?

what has the op done themselves about this?

what really is the point of the thread at all?
 

Robertj21a

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At the moment, under the Pubic Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, all buses that operate to a schedule and that carry any person or persons for whom payment has been made by somebody to anybody for their right to travel, are obliged to be wheelchair accessible. (Bar the 20-day-a-year heritage exemption.) Rail passengers have bought a ticket granting the entitlement to travel on rail replacement buses, which (theoretically) run to a timetable. So rail replacement buses have to be accessible.
Scheduled coaches don't have to be accessible, yet. As of 1st January 2020, they have to be in the same way as buses, as described above. NB: coaches used for private hire trips etc. aren't caught by this law, only those running to a schedule etc. as above.
I attempted to catch rail replacement services yesterday. There were many inaccessible coaches.
My concern is: come 2020, when there is a need for rail replacement buses, will there be sufficient accessible buses and coaches to meet the demand?
Isn't the simple answer NO ?

There should be plenty of accessible *buses* as they already need to meet PSVAR requirements (except the 20-day rule, 22 seats etc) for scheduled services anyway. If *coaches* are needed then there probably won't be enough available - no doubt more buses will fill their place, as necessary.
 

Teflon Lettuce

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The fact that a law is not enforced, or that it is widely ignored, does not necessarily mean that the law doesn't apply. It just means the law is widely ignored, often to the point that the people providing the service are unaware of the law.

An analogous example:

The Public Service Vehicle Conduct Regulations make it illegal for a bus driver to refuse to operate a ramp or to refuse a wheelchair user access to an unoccupied wheelchair space; and "unoccupied" is inclusive of situations in which passengers or their effects are in the space but can easily and reasonably move. Any driver failing to comply with this regulation faces punishment on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding Level 3 on the standard scale, and endorsement of their licence. This has been the case since 2002.

Yet no driver has ever had any legal action taken against them under this legislation. There is no body tasked with enforcing this legislation.

The fact that it hasn't been enforced does not mean that the legislation doesn't apply, it just means it hasn't been enforced. Such lack of compliance can become deeply ingrained and accepted as standard practice. The DVSA and the DFT are currently making formal enquiries of National Express and Megabus/Scottish Citylink after I revealed that both were refusing wheelchair users spontaneous access to unoccupied wheelchair spaces because they claimed they needed advance notice to prepare the space. Both have had a "36 hour notice" requirement for years, but are now being forced to change to correct their failure to comply with this legal retirement.

So with respect, and I genuinely mean that (I should imagine arranging and supervising rail replacement transport is a.major headache), the fact that you are under the impression that PSVAR doesn't apply to rail replacement vehicles, and you perform your job based upon this understanding, does not validate your assertion that PSVAR doesn't apply.



You are incorrect in your assertion.
In actuality, if access was free without any rail ticket, then PSVAR would not apply. It is required that somebody pay somebody something in respect of each individual's right to be on that bus. It doesn't matter who pays, or to whom (it doesn't have to be the passenger, or the bus operator, or the train operating company), or even if the payment takes into account other things in addition to transport on that bus. As long as somebody has made a payment to somebody that includes at least in part the right of a passenger to travel on that bus, and that bus runs to a schedule, then PSVAR applies.

Private hire and coach holidays are different. So are school buses that are funded fully and exclusively by the local authority, but if any one passenger on that bus has had any payment made to anybody for their right to travel on it, the accessibility obligations kick in. This is why there are now examples of local authorities refusing to allow pupils or parents to pay the local authority or bus operator to travel in a spare seat on such buses: because the bus would then be subject to the PSVAR and would have to be accessible (and accessible buses are more scarce or more expensive.)

The collorary is: complimentary / free buses are not subject to the accessibility requirements. So complimentary buses to the supermarket, free city buses as used to run round Leeds city centre, and so on, are not subject to the PSVAR and are not required to be accessible - except for if they're "complimentary" to an event and tickets for the event are required in order to board them, in which case the cost of access to the transport is considered to be part of the event ticket.

A challenge: Show me where the PSVAR 2000 or Equality Act 2010 state that services under a "closed contract" are not classed as scheduled services and are thus exempt from the requirements.

Your reference to "scheduled public services" is incorrect by the way - a service doesn't have to be public before it is subject to the PSVAR. For example, school buses for which local authorities allow school pupils not entitled to free school transport, to use the bus on payment of a fee to the LA,, are subject to the PSVAR. Yet anybody who wasn't a school child at the relevant school, or hadn't paid the local authority for the right to travel on that bus, would legitimately be refused access to that bus.

The fact that a rail replacement bus isn't open to the general public, and that a rail ticket must be bought to entitle one access to the vehicle, in no way obviates liability under the PSVAR.
How are private hires/ coach holidays different? by your definition of what falls within the scope of the legislation the test is whether someone has paid someone else to travel on the vehicle.. surely, by definition, a coach on a coach holiday is FULL {theoretically} of fare paying passengers... otherwise said holiday company would quickly go bankrupt... same for private hires... the usual format for a PH is that an organisation/ school/ club will hire the vehicle and then charge those going on the vehicle a fare for going on the trip.

Sorry, but no matter how much you'd like it to be otherwise, the ONLY services which are, or will be, covered by PSVAR are those services legally defined as Registered Local Services {what used to be called Stage Carriage} and Scheduled Express Services.

oh... and by definition, if a LA charters a school bus, and then allows others to travel for a fee {whether that be fully open to the public or only to certain qualifying persons} then the contract is no longer legally a closed contract but an open contract!
 

kingqueen

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How are private hires/ coach holidays different?
Let's consider the Government's guidance on the matter.
Government guidance said:
In general the Regulations apply to all buses and coaches operating to a published timetable. Very small buses and coaches (with a capacity not exceeding 22 passengers) are excluded, as are vehicles used for holiday or touring services, day trips or private hire for example, to a theatre or theme park.
Sorry, but no matter how much you'd like it to be otherwise, the ONLY services which are, or will be, covered by PSVAR are those services legally defined as Registered Local Services {what used to be called Stage Carriage} and Scheduled Express Services.
There is nothing in the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, or in S175 of the Equality Act, that states anything of the kind. You are simply incorrect. Blithely repeating your assertion without evidence, or acting in your job as if the PSVAR do not apply, will not change the fact that PSVAR apply to all scheduled services operated for hire or reward, including rail replacement vehicles.

I wish you would back your assertions up with the actual sources that back you up. Repeating the same assertions without such does nobody any help and is pretty pointless.

oh... and by definition, if a LA charters a school bus, and then allows others to travel for a fee {whether that be fully open to the public or only to certain qualifying persons} then the contract is no longer legally a closed contract but an open contract!
Quite. Similarly if a TOC charters a rail replacement vehicle, and then allows others to travel for a fee {whether that be fully open to the public or only to certain qualifying persons} then the PSVAR applies. A passenger could turn up at Windermere station tomorrow and buy a single to Oxenholme, and what would that entitle them to?
 

Teflon Lettuce

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Let's consider the Government's guidance on the matter.




There is nothing in the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, or in S175 of the Equality Act, that states anything of the kind. You are simply incorrect. Blithely repeating your assertion without evidence, or acting in your job as if the PSVAR do not apply, will not change the fact that PSVAR apply to all scheduled services operated for hire or reward, including rail replacement vehicles.

I wish you would back your assertions up with the actual sources that back you up. Repeating the same assertions without such does nobody any help and is pretty pointless.



Quite. Similarly if a TOC charters a rail replacement vehicle, and then allows others to travel for a fee {whether that be fully open to the public or only to certain qualifying persons} then the PSVAR applies. A passenger could turn up at Windermere station tomorrow and buy a single to Oxenholme, and what would that entitle them to?
I don't need to back up my assertions as you so crudely put it... you just did the job for me... and I quote what you posted:

"Government guidance said:
In general the Regulations apply to all buses and coaches operating to a published timetable. Very small buses and coaches (with a capacity not exceeding 22 passengers) are excluded, as are vehicles used for holiday or touring services, day trips or private hire for example, to a theatre or theme park."

A rail replacement service does not operate to a published timetable... it awaits the arrival of a train... pax are transferred to the bus/ coach... the replacement vehicle then continues along the route of the train calling at stations without following any timetable... it is just to get to it's destination in a timely manner. No matter how much you try to argue otherwise a Rail Replacement bus/ coach is NOT a scheduled service... it is a contract/ charter and is therefore exempt from PSVAR as it now stands and, unless the regulations are changed in the future... will continue to be exempt.

To be quite honest, by asking a question that you don't know the answer to and then trying to shout down anyone that gives you an answer you don't like/ agree with doesn't really do you any favours does it?
 

vdriud

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This is incorrect.
The fact that the bus service is provided under a contract to the train operating company is irrelevant to the applicability of PSVAR (NB: the DDA hasn't been on the statute books for 8 years now.)

The sole aspects that determine whether or not the PSVAR apply are:

:- whether any one passenger on the bus has had any money paid by anybody for their presence on the bus, including where the payment includes other elements than just that bus travel.

:- whether the bus runs to a schedule.

According to the PSVAR,


Source: the PSVAR.
There is nothing in there that says that buses provided under a contract are instantly not classed as "scheduled".

A related case is that of school transport. Bus companies are contracted by local authorities to provide transport for those school kids entitled to free transport. That is ineligible to the PSVAR because no individual child has had any payment made by anybody to anybody in respect of their individual transport.

However, if any spare seats are used by other school kids who aren't entitled to free school transport, the bus becomes subject to PSVAR. That is irrespective of if a pupil pays a fare to the driver, parents pay a termly subscription to the local authority, or if the transport is paid for as part of the termly private school tuition fees.

The fact that the bus has been contracted by the local authority is not relevant to its determination as to whether it is subject to the PSVAR.
Unregistered School buses are exempt - these are more scheduled than rail replacement services.
 

Dai Corner

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In general the Regulations apply to all buses and coaches operating to a published timetable. Very small buses and coaches (with a capacity not exceeding 22 passengers) are excluded, as are vehicles used for holiday or touring services, day trips or private hire for example, to a theatre or theme park."

A rail replacement service does not operate to a published timetable... it awaits the arrival of a train... pax are transferred to the bus/ coach... the replacement vehicle then continues along the route of the train calling at stations without following any timetable... i
But TOCs do publish timetables for (at least some of) their RRBs. Here are some topical examples (Windermere branch) https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/stations/OXN#station-extra
 

randyrippley

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I have a feeling that the OP's argument may fail when he talks of "all buses that operate to a schedule".
Most RRBs aren't operating to a schedule: it seems that in most cases the arrangements are very ad-hoc with buses despatched as/when sufficient passengers have boarded to make the trip worthwhile..
I guess it depends to some extent on whether the RRB is planned in advance to a published timetable (e.g. as currently at Blackpool)or is an emergency response to an unforseen circumstance, but even some planned RRB services can be seat-of-the-pants scheduling, with arbitrary decisions as to whats going where. Certainly not a "schedule".
 

Teflon Lettuce

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But TOCs do publish timetables for (at least some of) their RRBs. Here are some topical examples (Windermere branch) https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/stations/OXN#station-extra
is that due to the NR meltdown? usually the only published info about rail replacement is a notice that on such and such a date trains will not run before A and B and that a replacement bus service will operate... with a note to leave extra time for your journey
 

kingqueen

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A rail replacement service does not operate to a published timetable... it awaits the arrival of a train... pax are transferred to the bus/ coach... the replacement vehicle then continues along the route of the train calling at stations without following any timetable... it is just to get to it's destination in a timely manner.
Northern have published the temporary timetables for the Windermere to Oxenholme rail replacement buses on their website.

Here's the first couple of buses on Monday morning.


That's
buses and coaches operating to a published timetable
to use your emphasis.

No matter how much you try to argue otherwise a Rail Replacement bus/ coach is NOT a scheduled service... it is a contract/ charter and is therefore exempt from PSVAR as it now stands and, unless the regulations are changed in the future... will continue to be exempt.
No matter how many times you repeat it, it doesn't make it any more credible unless and until you back up your assertions to the contrary.

To be quite honest, by asking a question that you don't know the answer to and then trying to shout down anyone that gives you an answer you don't like/ agree with doesn't really do you any favours does it?
Here's what I asked in the original post:

come 2020, when there is a need for rail replacement buses, will there be sufficient accessible buses and coaches to meet the demand?
You haven't given me any form of answer to that question, and the one person who has, I haven't responded to at all. Do you somehow intend your unevidenced and incorrect assertion that rail replacement buses are not subject to the Accessibility Requirements to be some form of response as to whether or not there will be sufficient to meet the demand in 2020, as I asked?
 

Dai Corner

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is that due to the NR meltdown? usually the only published info about rail replacement is a notice that on such and such a date trains will not run before A and B and that a replacement bus service will operate... with a note to leave extra time for your journey
Another example is during the closure of the Severn Tunnel (again!) for electrification work.

If I plan a journey Newport - Bristol on the National Rail planner it shows the scheduled buses. This isn't an emergency situation it's been planned for months.

I don't think we can rely on RRBs not operating to a published timetable exempting them from FDA/PSVAR.

As an operator, are you contracted to operate to a schedule or just to supply x buses to shuttle between specified stations?
 

Teflon Lettuce

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Northern have published the temporary timetables for the Windermere to Oxenholme rail replacement buses on their website.

Here's the first couple of buses on Monday morning.


That's

to use your emphasis.


No matter how many times you repeat it, it doesn't make it any more credible unless and until you back up your assertions to the contrary.



Here's what I asked in the original post:



You haven't given me any form of answer to that question, and the one person who has, I haven't responded to at all. Do you somehow intend your unevidenced and incorrect assertion that rail replacement buses are not subject to the Accessibility Requirements to be some form of response as to whether or not there will be sufficient to meet the demand in 2020, as I asked?
a) check my reply to Dai Corner's post. The windermere service is not normal for rail replacement. The usual process is to advertise that there will be a replacement bus service with no timetable. Therefore not operating to a schedule... therefore not subject to PSVAR!
b) I am not the only person to have said as much to you
c) considering that rail replacements are usually at weekends when less buses are needed for regular service... and considering that all express coaches and many touring coaches are now delivered compliant then the answer as to whether there will be enough vehicles after 2020 is an unqualified yes
d) a little known fact is that buses employed on emergency rail replacement are exempt from pcv regulations concerning accessibility AND drivers hrs

I suggest that a bigger question is this... When do the rail industry intend to make the network fully accessible to disabled customers on an equal footing to their non-disabled pax as is required of bus operators already?
 

randyrippley

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Northern's publication of a bus timetable for the Windermere route is very much an exception to the normal rule. To the best of my knowledge they've never done it for previous closures of that route - but then previous closures have mainly been two-day weekend shutdowns
 

kingqueen

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I have a feeling that the OP's argument may fail when he talks of "all buses that operate to a schedule".
Most RRBs aren't operating to a schedule
Interesting, thanks.

I guess I was working from my own experience: the last three times I've had problems traveling when Rail Replacement Buses have been in operation, it has been with notice (due to industrial actions and the current interesting circumstances on Northern) and there has been a published schedule. I haven't personally come across Rail Replacement Buses without such a schedule, e.g. "last minute" ones or whatever. I agree with you that it is likely that such would not be considered to run "at specified times" and thus are likely not subject to the PSVAR.

even some planned RRB services can be seat-of-the-pants scheduling, with arbitrary decisions as to whats going where. Certainly not a "schedule".
I guess this would raise the question: how "off-schedule" does something have to be before it isn't classified as scheduled and thus doesn't have to be PSVAR compliant? If there's a schedule published in advance, then presumably the vehicles in question would have to be PSVAR unless and until that schedule is significantly deviated from, by which time presumably the vehicles have already arrived and are in use!

I guess for unscheduled Rail Replacement Buses, the statutory Code of Practice: Accessible Train Station Design for Disabled People section Y1 should take effect.

Section 248 of theTransport Act 2000 requires operators toensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the substitute road services allow disabled passengers to undertake their journeys safely and in reasonable comfort. ...

Buses or other substitute transport should be accessible to disabled people.
...
Where passenger train services are affected by engineering works at short notice, it is recommended that passenger train operators provide accessible buses, where reasonably practicable, at no extra charge. Where this cannot be achieved, operators should ensure that other alternative accessible transport is available to disabled passengers, such as accessible taxis, at no extra charge.
Interesting that it, too, makes a distinction between bustitution during planned disruption, and alternative transport during unplanned disruption.

Either way, it's clear that TOCs should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that rail replacement buses are accessible to disabled people. Yet in my experience, rail replacement buses are rarely accessible, even when planned well in advance. I don't know whether this is an indication that there are or will be insufficient of such (as asked in my original post on this thread) or if there is insufficient effort by TOCs to source such. Or both, or something else. But whatever it is, it's not resulting in accessible rail replacement buses, in my experience.
 

randyrippley

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...........As an operator, are you contracted to operate to a schedule or just to supply x buses to shuttle between specified stations?
During WCML closures in Lancs/Cumbria in the past, buses and drivers were being hired on the basis of they'd go wherever requested at virtually no notice, with stops changing en-route. Everything was last-minute decisions based on demand
 

Teflon Lettuce

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as an aside... if a wheelchair bound passenger of a TOC has to use a substitute bus service and the bus isn't wheelchair accessible then it isn't the bus operator's responsibility, it's the TOC's responsibility. Whether the vehicle used is a train, bus, plane or unicycle the contract is between the pax and the TOC therefore the TOC would be legally responsible for any compensation/ prosecution.
 

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