Protecting Community Transport – A Call to Action
On 31st July, Stephen Fidler from the Department for Transport wrote out to bodies issuing s19 and s22 Permits suggesting that this regulatory system, which has been the cornerstone of community transport operation since 1977, has largely been superseded by a 2009 European Regulation. Taken at face value, this would result in many CTs being forced to cease operations, and the remainder having to make major and costly alterations to their operating model. There is no doubt that this is a threat to the sector’s existence in GB and in Northern Ireland.
A small group of concerned CTs came together on 17th August to consider how to respond to this. It was agreed that there should be a Campaign established to:
- Resist the threat to CT implicit in the DfT letter
- Call for a full-scale review of Permit regulations from a holistic social policy perspective
- Commission expert legal advice as to ways to counter the DfT’s narrative
To take this forward, an initial Steering Group has been formed, consisting of:
- Anna Whitty – Ealing CT
- Andrew Kelly – Westway CT
- Paul Beecham
- Mark Arnold – Halton CT
- Matt Roberts – CT Sussex
- John Taylor – TAS
- Sarah Huntley – TAS
TAS has been asked to help facilitate the Campaign.
Please find attached the Campaign’s initial Statement of Intent – we are seeking to distribute this as widely as possible, so please forward and share, and to identify those who can offer differing levels of support. We need this Campaign to be successful if we are to avoid damage to the services on which so many individuals and groups depend. This requires as broad and active a participation as possible. We all have a role to play to raise the collective understanding by decision-makers of the extent of the damage that appears likely if the DfT’s approach is not stopped. The Campaign intends to provide factual briefing material and analysis for everyone’s use.
Meanwhile, you are reminded that:
- The DfT letter confirms that there has been no change in the regulations – either in the UK or the EU
- The DfT letter is essentially a holding position reflecting a statement from a DVSA Traffic hearing. It has not come about as a result of a court case.
- The hearing still continues and is apparently sub judice with potential for appeal.
Given this lack of a determined position, the convention is that the status quo should apply. Fortunately, many local authorities are holding off taking any action in response to the DfT letter until some level of certainty arises. However, if we do nothing it would appear likely from the DfT’s stated intentions that the worst case scenario will result. Consequently, we need to come together now to resist this – hence the Campaign.
We urge you to read the attachment and respond. If you want any further information or clarification, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
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Read the full Statement of Intent here: 50095c-statement-of-intent-final-new-link