Bus and coach accessibility and the Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 2000
A question put to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council on Twitter: Will this new legislation be applied to RCTC school transport? Ministers give councils and schools go-ahead to breach bus discrimination law
RCTC Hello – we’ve provided a response to your query as a private message, as it is too large to fit into the character limit. Thanks
Below a response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
Hello, the wider legislation is applied in Wales, but the DfT has issued a two-year exemption for home to school transport – recognising the unintended and detrimental impact it could have on mainstream school transport.
The article you have linked to fails to recognise that pupils are provided with transport that meets their individual needs, as those with recognised disabilities are assessed and provided with dedicated door-to-door transport. It also doesn’t recognise that the late clarification regarding schools transport means it is simply impossible for all school transport vehicles to meet the disability requirements, due to the availability of compliant fleet and the significant number of vehicles affected. Compliance can only therefore be achieved by allowing access to spare seats without charging, or simply denying pupils such seats.
RCT Council runs the largest school transport operation in the country. Spare seats on mainstream transport are made available for purchase at a nominal cost. This helps more pupils get to school, and benefits the environment with more full seats on the bus and less parents driving pupils to school – resulting in less traffic congestion, less air pollution and a smaller carbon footprint.
RCT has one of the most generous school transport policies in the country and the most efficient vehicle optimisation, so we provide school transport for more pupils than any other Council in Wales. We are aware that discussions with DfT are ongoing, and await further clarity on what will happen after the exemption period. Thanks