Small Bus Permits and Car Share Legislation
The Students' Union is not a bus company, but we wish to hire our vehicles out for money to cover the fuel and maintenance. As a result, the use of the vehicles, and how we charge for their use has to be carefully considered.
The two minibuses (14 seats) are operated using Small Bus Permits.
The rest of the vehicles are operated under 'car share legislation'.
Small Bus Permits
These are issued to us by the Community Transport Association (CTA). We pay them an annual membership fee (~£50), and apply for permits every 5 years (£7 each). We must remain members for our permits to remain valid. The current permits expire on 9th February 2015, at which point the Union Reception will apply for replacements.
The small bus permits (A.K.A section 19 permits), enable drivers without a minibus licence (D1), to drive a minibus, but with the restriction that it cannot be for hire or reward. I.e. They cannot receive any money or discounts for the driving.
Union Permit Numbers:
||Hire Logbook 1
||Hire Logbook 2
||Hire Logbook 3
||Hire Logbook 4
The University Permit Number we hold is 60699 and was issued on 9th September 1997,
Limitations to passengers
We may only carry the following classes of passengers in a vehicle with one of our Small Bus Permits:
- Class A - Members of the body hholding the permit
- Class B - Persons whom the body exists to benefit, and persons assisting them
- Class D - Pupils or students of any school, college, university or other educational establishment and staff or other helpers accompanying them
This covers the transport of students, staff, and associate members, but it means we cannot transport ordinary members of the public.
The CTA have produced the following flowchart which may be of use, but the final decision lies with the Students' Union Transport Committee:
The maximum fare per passenger (a vehicle could only have one passenger) is limited by the Section 19 restrictions to:
"a level to recover the costs of running the vehicle, including an allowance for vehicle depreciation and drivers' wages. However fares must not be set at a level which would produce a regular surplus of income over expenditure because that would be a profit-making operation and would not eligible under the section 19 permit scheme"
Vehicles operated under a Small Bus Permit with between 9 and 17 seats must have an MOT every year from registration.
We are required to have a minimum set of vehicle inventory. This includes:
- First Aid Kit
- Fire extinguisher (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam - NOT powder as these cause breathing difficulties in confined spaces)
The inventory we place in every vehicle can be found on The vehicles
From Vosa's PSV 385 - 01 document:
Drivers of permit vehicles
All drivers should be aware of the
risks to passenger safety which can result from driving when tired. It is not
sensible to embark on a long trip after a full day's work, whether that work
involves driving or not and it should be borne in mind that nonprofessional
drivers are likely to find driving more stressful than professional. It is
therefore important to plan more frequent rest breaks than those laid down in
Regulations. Aim to have a break from driving of at least fifteen minutes
every two hours. If possible, share the driving.
Drivers should be given clear written
instruction about their responsibilities covering all aspects of vehicle
operation. They should also ensure that they familiarise themselves with the
vehicle, including driving practice, before carrying any passengers.
must not use a mobile telephone whilst driving.
19. Driving entitlement requirements
of the size of vehicle, all drivers of a vehicle operated under a permit MUST
The rules covering the driver
licensing requirements depend on size of vehicle and when the driver passed
Drivers who hold one of the following
may drive, and be paid for driving a permit vehicle of
any size:i) A passenger carrying
vehicle (PCV) driver's licence; ii) A PCV Community licence; or
iii) A Northern Ireland
licence corresponding to a PCV driver's licence.
Drivers who do not hold one of the
above licences must comply with the following requirements.
For small vehicles adapted to carry
eight or fewer passenger (section 19 permits only) Have held a full licence authorising
the driving of vehicles in category B (cars) for at least two
years and must be 21 or over. There
is no restriction on such drivers receiving payment for driving a small
vehicle under a section 19 permit.
small buses (adapted to carry nine to sixteen passengers)
For drivers who do not have a PCV
licence (or equivalent), different conditions apply, depending on when they
obtained a full licence to drive vehicles in category B (cars).
granted a full licence to drive vehicles in category B (car, not automatic)
1st January 1997.
These drivers were automatically granted additional entitlement D1, to drive
a small bus not used for hire or reward. For as long as they hold D1
entitlement, these drivers may drive a small bus of any weight used under the
permit. There is no restriction on such drivers receiving payment.
On reaching the age of seventy the
driver will need to renew their car licence. They may also apply to renew the
D1 entitlement but will need to undergo a compulsory medical examination as
they must meet required health standards. If they pass the medical
examination they can continue to drive a small bus under a permit on the same
conditions as before. The renewed car licence and D1 entitlement are normally
valid for three years.
Drivers who passed their car test on or after 1st January 1997.
Drivers who pass their car test on after this date are no longer granted D1
entitlement. Category B entitles them to drive a small bus but only if all of
the following conditions are met:
The driver has held a full category B
car licence for at least two years;
The driver receives no payment or
other consideration for driving other than outof-pocket expenses;
The vehicle has a maximum gross
weight not exceeding 3.5 tonnes (4.25 tonnes including specialised equipment
for the carriage of disabled passengers);
For drivers aged 70 or over, that
they do not have any medical conditions which would disqualify them from
eligibility for a D1 licence.
No trailer is being towed.
Where the driver's licence only authorises
the driving of vehicles with automatic transmission, that only a vehicle with
automatic transmission is used
Drivers aged 70 or over who do not
meet the higher medical standards are not authorised to drive small buses.
They can drive small vehicles being used under a permit, provided they have
renewed their car licence.
Car Share Legislation
For vehicles where we do not require a Small Bus Permit, because it can be driven on a car licence, we use car share legislation, which is much simpler.
The legislation is designed for when a car owner gives someone else a lift, and asks for fuel money in return. We therefore can charge passengers for the use of the vehicle, but only as much as fuel and maintenance - just like with a SBP, we cannot make profit through use of the vehicles. Due to the 'passenger contribution' model, the finance system is configured to charge for use of the vehicle per passenger.
The driver of these vehicles may be paid, but this must be by the hirer or the Union, not by the passengers.