Use of the radio on local bus/coach services?

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Martin2012, 12 May 2015.

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  1. Martin2012

    Martin2012 Member

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    If anyone is able to answer I would be interested to find out, are there any rules regarding the drivers playing music(eg through the radio or on a CD) on public bus and coach services?

    Over the last couple of weeks I've been on a few journeys on bus services that have been worked by a coach and the driver has had the coach radio playing for the duration of the journey.

    Are drivers within their right to choose to play the on board coach radio or would passengers be within their right to say something if they felt it was too loud or if they wanted it turned off.

    My understanding is that National Express drivers are not permitted to use the coach radio. However in the past I have been on journeys where it has happened. Seemed to be a case of the driver had it on at a low volume so that they could be kept updated on the traffic. Does anyone know if National Express drivers are actually permitted to use the radio for this purpose?
     
  2. Titfield

    Titfield Member

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    If music is being played (ie using the radio) then a PRS (Performing Rights Society) Licence is required.

    The PRS are quite hot on this sort of thing.
     
  3. Martin2012

    Martin2012 Member

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    I guessed that some sort of licence would be required. Would it be the case that if the operator has a PRS licence, it would allow music to be played at any time on board that vehicle or would it only be valid in certain situations? Eg when the coach was on certain types of duties or if there were no passengers on board?
     
  4. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Established Member

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    There is very well-respected independent operator (who I won't name, as I can only presume they were breaking the law), that, when they first started operating passenger services (almost 30 years ago now...), regularly played cassettes of pop music over loudspeakers on their buses. The buses had previously been used on tourist services, and the cassette players had been used to provide a running commentary. (No individual headphones in those days, just public loudspeakers for all...)
     
  5. quarella

    quarella Member

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    The firm I drove for had a PRS licence. School runs I would have the radio on. Private Hires it would be up to the hirer. On bus routes I would switch the radio off if I picked up any passengers.
     
  6. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    Some company were trialing playing the radio on service buses a couple of months ago, so must be legal.
     
  7. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

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    No law against it. Anyone remember TOPPS on British Bus vehicles?
     
  8. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Two observations - some companies may not allow their drivers to play radios,etc, and road traffic laws apply so if a driver gets distracted by a radio, or if one was playing at the time of an accident or something happening on the bus it could well lead to specific charges.
     
  9. Stonesourscotty

    Stonesourscotty Member

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    Just returned from Beziers where all the coaches had cheesey french music and terrible chart music blasting in them needless to say after 1 journey i streamed my own music
     
  10. iantherev

    iantherev Member

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    I remember a trip on a Richards Bros Optare Delta in the early 1990s where we were serenaded with Atlantic 252.
     
  11. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    According to the PRS site, no licence is required if the radio in a vehicle can only be heard by the driver. I was a bit surprised to read that a PRS licence is needed at all to play radio in public, since the radio station already needs to have one.
     
  12. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

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    My guess would be that if the radio is fitted then it is legal for anyone in the vehicle to hear the radio... after all if it was illegal to have the radio playing for all to hear why would manufacturers be allowed to install them? As for cassettes/cd's I would assume they were legal on a private hire or tour but not on a stage carriage service... the driving force being the legal definition of "public" pertaining to pcv legislation

    Talking of legislation, the conduct of drivers, passengers and conductors act 1936 specifically forebade drivers from playing radios in the cab (due, I believe, to the risk of explosion from fuel) I wonder if there is still legislation in place to stop a driver from playing a free standing radio in the cab.. or for that matter listening to an mp3 player?
     
  13. Temple Meads

    Temple Meads Established Member

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    I have seen a fair number of coach drivers using MP3 players etc, so I would assume it is legal.
     
  14. quarella

    quarella Member

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    From the "Safe and responsible bus driving" part of the Driver and Vehicle Standards agency website.
    https://www.safedrivingforlife.info/professionals/im-professional-driver/pcv-knowledge-centre/safe-and-responsible-bus-driving

    NB my bold.
    It is a PCV licence. Same test/licence whatever work it leads to- Bus or one of the variety of types of coach driving with no differentiation between listening to a radio/music. It is down to company policy. There used to be something called common sense but now it needs to be written down in the company rules and regs.
     
  15. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    This is quite interesting - I must admit I had always assumed that it would be against PSV regulations for drivers to listen to music but now I know. However, the laws regarding playing music to an audience (more than 5 people I think) will still apply & it's down to the company to hold the relevant license.

    My one concern from a passenger point of view that if a driver plays music & it can be heard by the passengers, it rather undermines their authority if another passenger then decided they want to play music loudly. It's hugely annoying for me & I've had to complan on a few occasions where this has happened. Yes, there are notices on buses to say that playing music out loud is prohibited, but if the driver does it, what can you do?
     
  16. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    If by 'MP3 player' you mean that the driver had a portable device and was listening to it by headphones, then that is illegal. All drivers are required to be able to hear external traffic warnings. i.e. horns. This does raise the issue of stereo hands-free headsets for mobile phones breaking that rule.
     
  17. quarella

    quarella Member

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    The wearing of headphones does not necessary mean you are unable to hear external traffic warnings. If I can hear another passenger's music played through ear phones from 8' away over my own music on a moving train then I could certainly hear a horn. However from a bus driving point of view I think it looks unprofessional to have a cable dangling out of the ear and as a passenger I will take my earphones out when paying my fare.
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Threaten to report them to the PRS for playing music without a licence?
     
  19. Liam

    Liam Established Member

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    Does this apply to cars and taxi's too?
     
  20. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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  21. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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  22. theshillito

    theshillito Member

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    A driver on one of the local routes near me regularly plays music on the evening services when there's few people on-board. They said they will turn it down/off if asked to, but remarked that they've had some good conversations with people due to the music played and it's rare that they're asked to turn it off.

    However, recently one passenger has taken it upon themselves to, whenever the driver was playing music, playing music from their phone louder in response. Whenever the driver was not playing music, the passenger would not play music in return. As such, the driver was forced to stop playing music upon sight of this particular passenger, but this is the only person who's had an issue with it.
     
    Last edited: 14 May 2015
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