ALBUM disappointed with PSVAR extension

ALBUM (Association of Local Bus Managers) is disappointed that PSVAR regulations will be extended past the original end of year deadline.

Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) was introduced in 2000. It stipulated that all PCVs on scheduled services needed to be fully accessible to those with mobility issues by 2016/2017, and for all other passenger vehicles except coaches on closed door tours by January 2020. Government has recently announced that an extension will be offered against this regulation for non-compliant operators, potentially up to 2024. After 19 years of industry implementation, ALBUM considers this a disappointment for itself and its members who between them operate over 6,000 vehicles. In preparation for the 2020 deadline, ALBUM’s members, many of whom provide home to school services, have invested significant sums to make their vehicles and staff compliant.

ALBUM recognises there could be a national fleet shortage of compliant vehicles but is urging the Government to find a different and more appropriate solution to accessible buses and coaches and one that does not compromise the interests of those that have adopted and implemented the legislation both in spirit and in fullness.

Bill Hiron, Chairman of ALBUM, said: “Our members believe it is disingenuous to offer an extension to operators of non-compliant buses and coaches who have already had an additional four years from 2016 to comply with PSVAR 2000 legislation.

“It is of course absolutely right that passengers with mobility issues are able to use vehicles in an appropriate and non-intrusive manner. ALBUM operators are socially conscious and despite financial and supply chain challenges found a way in 2016 and 2017 to support this critical customer right and accessibility standard.

“It is morally wrong that less diligent operators are potentially being given another four years to comply which is not fair to mobility challenged passengers and places our members at a competitive disadvantage against those that have chosen not to invest in and upgrade their fleets.”

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