Section 3 Quality partnership schemes
11.This section empowers local transport authorities, either alone or jointly, to set up quality partnership (“QP”) schemes if this will to any extent implement their relevant general policies (as defined in section 48(1)) and either improve the quality of local services and facilities specified provided in a particular area, or reduce or limit traffic congestion, noise or air pollution. The expression “local transport authority” is defined in section 82(1) as meaning a local authority or the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority (“SPTA”).
12.A QP scheme entails the authority providing specified facilities (as defined in subsection (3)(a)), and setting quality standards to be observed by bus operators as a condition for using those facilities. The specified facilities under a scheme (such as bus lanes and shelters) must be provided at specific locations along bus routes (or where appropriate prospective bus routes) which bus operators can use. Authorities may also include other ancillary facilities.
13.Information facilities may not be included if the authority have determined that these must be provided throughout their area under sections 33 and 34 of the Act. Standards that may be imposed on operators under a statutory QP scheme may include minimum frequency of services, but do not extend to maximum frequency or timing of services. The Scottish Ministers or the Secretary of State must be party to a QP scheme if any of the facilities requires the making of a traffic regulation order in respect of a road for which they are, or she, is the traffic authority.