Voluntary guidelines for coach operators amended
An amended voluntary code of practice for coach operators taking passengers to designated sporting events has been published.
The guidance is part of the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Document on Good Repute and Fitness. It has been reviewed at the request of Police in England and Wales. The proposed changes were then open to a public consultation.
In addition to the existing guidelines, the document outlines that operators should ensure: additional information is given to Police liaison officers 48 hours prior to an event; coaches leave the ground within 30 minutes of the event finishing, unless directed otherwise by a Police Officer or ground safety officer (previously one hour); flares and pyrotechnics are not carried on coaches; and the Police liaison officer is told, upon arrival at an away football ground, of any racist, homophobic or similar chanting. The Code of Practice also indicates that operators may make voluntary searches a condition of entry to the vehicle. Operators are asked to comply with all of the guidelines on a voluntary basis. However, if the Police inform the Traffic Commissioner of any failure on an operator’s part to comply with them, the Commissioner will consider whether to apply them as a formal condition to that operator’s licence. Traffic Commissioners may also consider regulatory action against the operator’s licence.