Availability of accessible rail replacement coaches

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by kingqueen, 9 Jun 2018.

  1. Dentonian

    Dentonian Member

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    Depends on the circumstances. Yes, they are not local services, but if the ticket bought on the bus is ordinarily valid on the particular rail route, or if Concessionary travel is free on the Rail service (as in Gtr Manchester after 0915, for instance) then surely it would be valid on a RR bus/coach.........
     
  2. lincman

    lincman Member

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    My simple rule of thumb is quite simple, if the service is available to the "General Public" it needs to be accessible. If the service is restricted ie: the passenger needs a specific pre purchased ticket as Rail ticket and the general public is excluded then it does not need to be accessible. Please do not think that I am in any way unsympathetic to your aspirations, but these things take time.
     
  3. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Sorry, but I have to disagree

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/1970/regulation/3/madehttp://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2000/1970/regulation/3/made

    "3.—(1) These Regulations apply to public service vehicles of the types described respectively in paragraphs (2) to (7) (a “regulated public service vehicle”) in the manner and to the extent set out in this Part....
    ...(9) In paragraphs (2) to (7)—

    (a)“first used” is to be construed in accordance with regulation 2(2); and

    (b)references to a vehicle being “used” or “in use” means the regulated public service vehicle is being used to provide either a local service or a scheduled service."

    Therefore only vehicles used on local or scheduled service are covered by PSVAR. Ergo the question is whether Rail Replacements come under the scope of local/ scheduled services. so turning to the Road Transport Act 1985:

    "2 Local services.

    (1)In this Act “local service” means a service, using one or more public service vehicles, for the carriage of passengers by road at separate fares other than one—

    (a)which is excluded by subsection (4) below; or

    (b)in relation to which (except in an emergency) one or both of the conditions mentioned in subsection (2) below are met with respect to every passenger using the service.

    (2)The conditions are that—

    (a)the place where he is set down is fifteen miles or more, measured in a straight line, from the place where he was taken up;

    (b)some point on the route between those places is fifteen miles or more, measured in a straight line, from either of those places.

    (3)Where a service consists of one or more parts with respect to which one or both of the conditions are met, and one or more parts with respect to which neither of them is met, each of those parts shall be treated as a separate service for the purposes of subsection (1) above.

    (4)A service shall not be regarded for the purposes of this Act as a local service if—

    (a)the conditions set out in Part III of Schedule 1 to the 1981 Act (trips organised privately by persons acting independently of vehicle operators, etc.) are met in respect of each journey made by the vehicles used in providing the service; or

    (b)every vehicle used in providing the service is so used under a permit granted under section 19 of this Act.

    (5)Subsections (5)(b), (c) and (6) of section 1 of the 1981 Act (meaning of “fares”) shall apply for the purposes of this section."

    obviously, Rail Replacement services do, one way or the other, meet the conditions to be exempted from being considered a scheduled/ local service.

    Now as to the OP's contention that seperate fares are charged/ not everyone travels the complete distance... let's try this for an argument...

    RRB is in operation from A to D via B and C.... what if the journey is considered 3 different journeys... A to B B to C and C to D... in that case everyone boarding at A have paid the same fare and have travelled the full length of route to B ok so half the people stay on board at B and go on to C... that is immaterial B to C is a seperate journey {much as happens on local services which have been "split" to comply with the 50km rule}
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2018 at 15:11
  4. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    So based on your logic, any bus service where tickets are required to be bought in advance would not be covered? E.g. The Metrobus services in Bristol?

    Nope.
    The phrase "scheduled service" is specifically defined within PSVAR not the Road Transport Act and is defined as what I quoted previously:
    "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".
     
  5. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    One could argue whether 'Stop at these stations at these times" specifies a route.

    As discussed in another thread, the optimum route can vary from time to time according to traffic conditions.
     
  6. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    And the drivers local knowledge! There is certainly no set route on any RRB I have been on!
     
  7. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Again I say... you purchase your rail ticket... that means you enter into a contract with the TOC for you to travel with them... you get halfway to your destination and the line is blockaded and there is a replacement bus service {because the TOC has a mandatory obligation to provide the service} and you are transferred to the bus to complete your journey. What fare have you paid to get on that bus? It doesn't matter what is printed on your rail ticket, that is your fare for the rail journey. The point is that you have not paid a single penny to get on the bus. No fare. Nada. Therefore Rail Replacement Services are exempt from PSVAR.
     
  8. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    To me it specifies a timetable for stops and times.
    Exactly what you get with rail replacement bus timetables.

    But there are timetables.

    And as I said, that is the question. Certainly there is no mention in the PSVAR regulations about the fare being paid having to be a bus fare. Just a fare for your journey. As the rail industry say, they can use any method of transportation to get you from A to B, so you haven't paid for the rail journey (if you had, RRB's should be free as you don't get a rail journey!), you have just paid a fare for the journey.

    Of course, I doubt this is the spirit of the law. It probably was written with the assumption that by "fare" you should read "bus fare" - but it doesn't actually say that.

    In any case, that specific reply you quoted wasn't really about the paid a fare or not, it was more a reply to your comment saying that you need to look to the Road Transport Act for the definition of scheduled service - which is not the case as that is defined in the PSVAR regulations.
     
  9. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    I remember travelling from Stoke to Cornwall once with a friend. The tickets cost us £50. The line was blocked between Stoke and Stafford. A Taxi took us to Stafford, and the taxi driver said he enjoyed Rail Replacement work, as he got paid £70 for the trip! There was a £20 shortfall in fare there! Does this mean for RRB purposes the fare we paid was -£20?
     
  10. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    But the second two conditions (b) and (c) talk about stops and times. Why is (a) there as well? Was it the intention that if the driver could choose his own route between stops (such as on RR work) his vehicle wasn't subject to PSVAR?
     
  11. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    For completeness? Who knows!

    I think that one is probably actually more problematic than the fare issue though.
    But at the same time, every time I have got a planned RRB, there has been a route the bus should take (it is sometimes as simple as taking the main road out of a city, going to the motorway, exiting at a specific junction and taking the main road from that junction direct to the train station - which is the case for Newport - Bristol Parkway). Of course, drivers get lost and congestion means diversions have to be made - but that's no different to normal bus services!

    If I haven't already - I don't think the regulations were written with RRB's in mind (or certainly there was never the intention that RRB's should be included in them). But the way they are written is vague enough that I can certainly see the argument. There are much better ways the regulations could have been written if they are intended to apply to normal registered numbered bus services. And my opinion that they should be covered by the regulations is more from my belief that ALL public transport should be fully accessible, rather than because I think the law specifically says it right now.
     
  12. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Because it was written by lawyers who are paid by the word!
     
  13. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    There is no route the driver must take, some places have more variety between them than others. But on a bus service you must follow a pre-set route, on RRB as long as you get to the place, any route will do.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2018 at 16:33
  14. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Buses that divert because of congestion, parked vehicles etc etc may disagree with you there!
     
  15. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Established Member

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    And make things as ambiguous as possible in the hope that they or their mates can earn more money in the future interpreting them!
     
  16. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    to specifically exempt Rail Replacement services maybe? after all... the replacement bus is put on as a courtesy. you are not charged for it. therefore you don't pay a fare, therefore RRB's do not meet the test to be included in PSVAR rules
     
  17. kingqueen

    kingqueen Member

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    Do you mean this?
    "Regulated public service vehicle", "a local service" and "a scheduled service" all have definitions specified in the PSVAR.
    PSVAR Section 2 gives the definitions.
    So for the purposes of the regulations, "regulated public service vehicle" means "A single-deck bus which weighs more than 7.5 tonnes and is in use on or after 31st December 2000" and so on. No reference at all to any other legislation; it is defined in its own right purely for the purposes of the regulations.
    "Scheduled service" is defined clearly within the regulations and makes no reference to any other legislation. So your claim that the fact that Rail Replacement buses aren't scheduled services as defined by the Transport Act 1985 is irrelevant; the only relevant definition is that in the PSVAR themselves.
    "Local service" refers only to Section 2 of the Transport Act 1985. Neither the regulations, nor Section 2 of the Transport Act, make any reference to Section 6 (in which the duty to register with traffic commissioners is dealt with), so registration or otherwise with the Traffic Commissioners, and rail replacement services is not relevant to the regulations.
    The PSVAR says that for the purpose of the Regulations, the definition of a Local Service is as stated in Section 2 of the Transport Act 1985. So here's that section.
    So with two exceptions, a "local service" for the purposes of the PSVAR is any service "using one or more public service vehicles, for the carriage of passengers by road at separate fares" where stops are less than 15 miles apart.
    "At separate fares" is defined by the section as that specified in Subsections 5(b),(c) & 6 of Section 1 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981. Here's that section.

    You content that these definitions mean that payment for a rail ticket without which one may not travel on a rail replacement bus does not meet the criteria of being "at separate fares". I disagree with you.
    So what about the two exceptions to the definition of local services?
    I'll take them in reverse order.
    Rail replacement services aren't under a Section 19 permit; this permit is for voluntary or charitable organisations where bus transport is a minor part of their operations, e.g. care home owned / operated minibuses. None of us think this is relevant.
    The other one deals with private hire. A service is exempt from the PSVAR if:
    For this exemption to be effective, the serviced must satisfy all conditions set out in Part III of Schedule 1 to the Public Passenger Vehicles 1981 Act. Here's that part.
    None of us dispute that rail replacement buses meet the independence requirements of Section 5. BUT for this exemption to be effective, sections 6, 7 and 8 must also be engaged.
    For 6 to engage, the arrangements for the service must not have been advertised to the public. So no pre-announced timetables, no tannoys announcing the service, nothing on TOC websites or National Rail Enquiries, no announcement on Twitter... I contend that rail replacement buses do not fit S6 and thus this exemption does not engage.
    S7: If the service isn't a tour (which nobody contends that rail replacement buses are) then all the occupants of the bus must be carried to its final destination or points close to it. So any rail replacement service that has more than one stop, I.E. stops at a station or stations en route to its final destination, does not fit this section and this exemption doesn't apply.
    S8: people travelling different distances on the bus (or for different lengths of time) must not be charged different fares based on the distance / time travelled.
    You and I disagree as to whether rail fares can be considered as "separate fares" for the purposes of the Regulations. I contend that they are, and that it is self-evident that the further along a rail replacement route one travels, the higher the fare - e.g. Oxenholme to Kendal vs Oxenholme to Windermere. So I contend that rail replacement buses don't meet this section, and so the exemption isn't engaged.
    It's important to note that for this exemption to be engaged, ALL of the conditions in Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 have to be true. I argue that 6, 7 and 8 are not (always) the case for rail replacement services.

    That's my relatively comprehensive exploration and explanation of the legislation, and why I believe that the definitions, terms and sections do apply to rail replacement buses. I know you disagree.
     
  18. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    They still have a registered set route that RRB do not have.
     
  19. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Anyone would think we were just cynical!
     
  20. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    Right, considering that you believe that PSVAR are the only rules that need to be considered [in glorious isolation to the rest of law] lets see what services it says are covered:

    "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

    you cannot or will not explain what fares have been paid... again I point out that you get on the replacement bus for free... there is no way round this fact, no matter how much you try. If you arrived at the stn to be told "there's a replacement bus operating today and we are charging you an extra 50p per station", then yes the service would come under PSVAR because seperate fares have been charged. The simple fact is that this doesn't happen. Rail Replacement services are provided as a courtesy and are free and gratis to the passenger... therefore no fares are charged.. therefore the services don't meet the conditions to be deemed subject to PSVAR.

    If you can find anywhere on the statute books that someone using a free service has been deemed to have paid a fare then you might have a case at law.

    And just as a reminder to everyone who thinks I'm just being anti-disabled in any way.... I believe that when the rules were written there shouldn't have been any exemptions... after all according to these regulations wheelchair users aren't entitled to go on a coach holiday... hardly conducive to equality is it?
     
  21. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Now, I'm not an expert, but if a "Local Service" has to include "the place where he is set down is fifteen miles or more, measured in a straight line, from the place where he was taken up;" then they can't be RRB, or at least ALL RRB, so are therefore excluded.

    So this just leaves "Scheduled Service" to deal with...
     
  22. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Now, I'm not an expert, but if a "Scheduled Service" has to include "(a)along specified routes,
    (b)at specified times" then this doesn't include RRB, or at least ALL RRB, so are therefore excluded.
     
  23. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    it's the "at seperate fares" which the crucial point... as I keep pointing out to the OP RRB's are provided free. There are no fares... therefore outside of scope of PSVAR cos they don't meet the requirements for "scheduled service"
     
  24. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    I have tried to pay to travel on one, but there is simply no way to! However much I tried Alsager to Longport return can simply not be paid for. There is no way at all to pay
     
  25. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    But that is where the specific language used is important. There is nothing that says it has to be a bus fare paid (even though I believe that was what is meant), or as lincman suggested - a fair paid on the bus (which would rule out some actual real bus routes too), just a fare paid for the journey.
    So unless you are claiming that if I travel between Newport and Bristol Parkway on an RRB I don't have to pay anything at all for that journey (which I am sure GWR would disagree with you there), then I'm just not convinced.

    So I thought that was going to come up. Just because some ToC's do not provide the ability to purchase fares on an RRB, it does not mean a fare is not due. Indeed if they wanted to (and some do), they could have a member of staff with a ticket machine at the RRB stop and refuse you boarding unless you have a ticket.

    Imagine a scenario on a normal bus route, where you board but the ticket machine is playing up so the driver waves you on. Later during your journey the ticket machine starts to work again - just because you couldn't pay when you board does not mean the fare isn't due, and the driver would be well within their rights to ask you to purchase a ticket at that point (though I doubt they actually would because of delaying the service and the risk of conflict).
     
  26. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    Incidentally this is the reason I love RRB, as they are free! Unless boarding at a staffed station, don't fare evade kids!
     
  27. kingqueen

    kingqueen Member

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    I did no such thing, and no reasonable interpretation of what I wrote could come up with that conclusion.
    I said that I have asked the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail and Road and the DVSA for their information as to whether (some) rail replacement services are subject to the accessibility regulations, and that I've commissioned a barrister to produce an informed opinion on the situation, and that whilst I haven't ruled out legal action down the line, I'm trying these other routes for an "official" answer before considering whether to take legal action. So I haven't made any decision to take legal action, I haven't even considered doing so yet - and when I do, I won't be "looking for a case to take to court".
    Claiming this is "looking for a case to take to court" is unsupportable twisting of my words.
    I am entirely transparent as to my agenda. It consists of two prongs:
    1) Improved accessibility and availability of public transport to disabled people (an aim with which you agree)
    2) As part of that, rail replacement services being as accessible to disabled people as possible, both after 2020 and now.
    As part of 2),
    a) well-sourced and formed clarification as to whether and under what circumstances rail replacement services are subject to the public service vehicle accessibility regulations.
    These aims are why I started this discussion, researched the legislation (which I have not cherry-picked) and why I have now sought formal professional interpretation of the relevant legislation.
    It would mean that you are wrong, and that some other posters are wrong (not all.) However "the entire Bus/coach industry" hasn't expressed an opinion on this (you made a sweeping generalisation there), and the Traffic Commissioners and the Rail Regulatory authorities have neither given an opinion on the subject nor published anything stating either way. Which is why I'm asking them. So your claim that they believe that PSVAR doesn't apply to rail replacement buses is not verifiable.

    The fact that you need a contract with a TOC before you board is irrelevant for the purposes of determination as to whether they are subject to PSVAR.

    No, of course not, because it is provided under a different basis than that of those local services which are required to register with the Traffic Commissioner. But that is not relevant for the purposes of determination of applicability of PSVAR. It is not only services that are subject to the obligation to register with the Traffic Commissioners, that are subject to the PSVAR. That's why the PSVAR refer to Section 2 for the definition of local services, and not to Section 6.
    Whether or not a service is a scheduled service under the Transport Act 1985 is irrelevant, because the PSVAR uses its own internal definition and criteria of a "Scheduled service" and makes no reference to the Act in this regard.
     
  28. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    And I would happily pay :D But i'd be paying the rail fare. Not a separate bus fare.
     
  29. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    I'm not claiming anything of the sort. The simple fact is you purchase a rail ticket which means you enter a contract with the TOC to travel between 2 points. The fact that they then put you on a replacement bus is immaterial. you still haven't paid for a bus journey you've paid for a rail journey. They have just transferred you to a free, gratis, complimentary replacement bus. So you, as a passenger, haven't paid a fare to travel on the bus... now it could be argued that the train operator has paid a bus fare on your behalf... but they haven't. that's not how RRB contracts work. The bus operator isn't paid per passenger carried... or by how far that passenger travels.. the TOC will say to the bus operator "I need a bus for this saturday... 6am- midnight" the bus operator will then quote a price for the hire of the vehicle for that time period. The payment will not be dependant on how many passengers use the bus or how far they travel... therefore no seperate fares have been paid.
     
  30. Deafdoggie

    Deafdoggie Member

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    That is a good point. Bus/Coach operators are just paid for a bus/coach and driver, not a specific route or set of routes. Even on pre-planned work, it is "how many vehicles and drivers can you supply 06:00-22:00?" Not "We need two for Stockport-Manchester and one for Stockport-Macclesfield" The driver has no idea where he will be going till he gets there. With luck on the "stand-by" and not needed! But the passengers (if any) and distance are immaterial to the cost. It is all paid at a flat-cost, which is why old buses turn up, as the price paid isn't going to buy new ones!
     

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