Implementing the bus provisions of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019

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Closes 6 Oct 2021

Local Authority run services

Section 34 of the 2019 Act (which inserts a new section 2A into the 2001 Act) enables LTAs to provide services for the carriage of passengers by road using vehicles that require a Public Service Vehicle operator’s licence to do so.

To do this, the local transport authority must be satisfied that the provision of such services will contribute to the implementation of their relevant general policies (as defined in the 2001 Act). The 2019 Act also provides that the Scottish Ministers may issue guidance in relation to the exercise of the new functions and that LTAs must have regard to any such guidance.

The 2019 Act is not restrictive in the way LTAs can run their own buses, enabling them to use the power as they see fit within the wider context of their obligations. 

It should be noted that the purpose of any guidance issued under these provisions would not be to provide a step by step process for the various ways in which an LTA might run their own services or cover any of the wider duties and obligations on local transport authorities or the legal requirements of other regimes such as those governing market competition or subsidy control (formerly state aid). However, this consultation seeks views on what could be provided by way of information and resources in order to support local transport authorities in exercising the new power (Question 2).

This consultation seeks views on whether there is a need to exercise the power to issue guidance, setting out any matters which LTAs must have regard to when exercising their new powers, and if so, what these matters should be.

1. Is there anything which should be set out in guidance that Local Transport Authority's must have regard to in exercising their new functions for running their own bus services? Please explain your answer.
2. What further information and resources would be helpful for an Local Transport Authority considering providing local bus services? Please explain your answer.