Section 8 Effect of quality partnership scheme
20.This section sets out the effect of a QP scheme, once in place. It places obligations on both the local transport authority and the bus operators – the former to provide the relevant scheme facilities, and the latter to operate their services to the relevant standards.
21.Authorities will be under a duty to provide specified facilities, and continue to do so while the scheme remains in operation, unless in the event of circumstances beyond their control – for example a sewer collapse rendering a bus lane unusable. This duty will not apply to the Scottish Ministers or the Secretary of State (if they are, or she is, party to a QP scheme) if they are or she is unable to provide the facilities owing to the variation or revocation of a traffic regulation order.
22.An operator may only use the scheme facilities if a written undertaking is given to the traffic commissioner, who will be responsible for enforcement, confirming that the services specified in the scheme will be provided to the required standard, and that those services are duly provided to that standard (except in circumstances beyond the operator's control). Where local services are excluded from a QP scheme (e.g. a community bus providing a feeder service may be excluded) such services are not to be subject to the quality standard requirements. But any conditions applicable to that exclusion are to be treated as if they were prescribed particulars registered under section 6 of the Transport Act 1985. Thus an excluded operator who fails to comply with these conditions can face enforcement action by the traffic commissioner.