Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Forgotten Deregulation

In the second of this week's features of the birth of deregulation, here are some facets you’d be forgiven for forgetting…

1. Excursions & tours required registration, provided (a) the whole journey operated within 15 miles of the pick-up point and (b) they operated more than once a week for at least six continuous weeks. Otherwise, from 26 October 1986, operators could run excursions without any formality at all.

2. The Restrictive Trade Practices Act 1976 came into force with the passing of the Transport Act 1985. Two or more operators of joint services, joint trading names and joint commercial ticketing needed registering with the OFT. This included so-called gentlemen’s agreements.

3. There was an official transitionally period between January and October 1986, during which time PTEs and councils assessed the services to be registered commercially and tendered accordingly.

4. All Road Service Licences outside London that expired at or after October 2005 were automatically extended to 25 October 1985.

5. There was more-or-less a moratorium on registerable variations to local bus services during the period between 26 October 1986 and 25 January 1987, after which date any changes could be made with 42 days’ notice (currently 56).

6. Transitional Rural Bus Grant was available for four years for those services outside larger urban areas over 25,000 population.

7. There were special circumstances under which hackney carriages could operate bus services, at seperate fares, though these were rarely taken up.

Deregulation Timetable

Oct 1985 – expiring licences automatically extended to 25 October 1986.

Dec 1985 – The DoT publishes its guidance of how to register local bus services.

Feb 1986 – 28th was the last date for registering commercial networks for 26 October 1986. Thereafter, registrations are only for tendered services or otherwise by agreement with PTEs/councils.

March/April 1986 – Traffic area offices publish Special Notices & Proceedings.

April 1986 – Transitional Rural Bus Grant begins.

April 1986 – local authorities publish details of compulsory concessionary fares schemes.

Oct 1986 – 25th is the last day a traffic commissioner will accept registration of or changes to subsidised services. 26th is D-Day. Operators must run services at least to Jan 1987.

Jan 1987 – 26th is the date after which the registration, variation and cancellation of routes becomes fully operative.

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