RHA warns of H2S catastrophe in PSVAR negotiations
The RHA says that, alongside the CPT and UKCOA, it is urging the Department for Transport to find a solution to the PSVAR situation or risk have a shortage of home-to-school services.
“We have urged officials to find solutions to Passenger Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) issues as operators struggle to meet demand for compliant coaches,” said an RHA spokesman. “In a meeting yesterday (Monday 14 June), key RHA figures reinforced the message to the Department for Transport (DfT) that there aren’t enough ‘accessible’ coaches to meet the needs of home-to-school services which could mean buses being deployed in the coming school year.
“We’re determined to ensure that the safety which coach travel provides isn’t undermined, and that the use of buses – which often don’t have seat belts – is not appropriate in most instances. Our industry is committed to full accessibility, and we stressed that we can’t achieve this through coach design alone. The right passenger embarking infrastructure plays a key role in making journeys accessible.
“An immediate need is some certainty around the ending of exemptions in July so operators, schools, local authorities and parents can plan ahead, we told them. We’ll shortly publish our recommendations for long-term resolutions around PSVAR which will support operators and others to ensure journeys are accessible. We’ve developed these steps with our RHA Coaches members.”
RHA says it has also pledged support to help develop a ‘roadmap’ addressing demands the industry faces, including PSVAR, the post-COVID recovery, and decarbonisation This will draw on the extensive experience available to us in this field.
Last week, the RHA called on Emma Hardy MP to continue pressing ministers for more support for our sector as firms emerge from the COVID crisis, and discussed driver recruitment, getting passengers back on board and access to clean air zone (CAZ) funding.