Watchdog becomes dedicated complaints body
Passenger watchdog, Bus Users UK, has become the statutory body for passenger complaints in England, Wales and Scotland under EU Passenger Rights Legislation. The law came into effect in March and is intended to provide better protection for bus and coach travellers throughout the EU. It imposes a number of duties and responsibilities on PCV companies to uphold the rights of their customers. These duties include the non-discriminatory treatment of passengers, clear and accessible information, reimbursement and compensation for cancelled journeys, delays, injury or death, assistance during delays and a complaints handling mechanism established by the bus and coach companies themselves. In addition, each EU Member State has been required to set up a fully independent body to enforce the regulations.
Bus Users UK has been handling bus complaints since 1998, dealing with around 1,500 annually. The process for complaints handling will remain largely unchanged, with complaints going direct to the bus company in the first instance, before being referred to Bus Users UK. Complaints in London and Northern Ireland will continue to be handled by London Travelwatch and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.