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Greater London Authority Act 1999

Sections 185 to 190: Bus services outside the network

319.Anyone who wishes to provide a bus service which is not part of the London bus network must obtain a London service permit. The Mayor is placed under a duty to state his policy for the issue of permits by publishing a guidance document (see below). That will contain the criteria against which applications for a permit will be considered. It must be kept under review and revised as necessary.

320.Section 186 provides for applications for and the grant of London service permits. Separate fees may be charged for processing the application and for granting the permit or a composite fee may be charged for both. TfL must consult the police, the local authorities affected, the London Transport Users' Committee and anyone else it thinks fit, but in deciding whether or not to grant a permit it must have regard to the guidance document and to any other material considerations (such as exceptional local conditions) which are relevant to the application.

321.Section 187 provides for the terms on which a permit is held. Conditions may be attached to a permit to ensure that suitable routes and stopping places are used and that the safety and convenience of the public (including those persons with mobility problems) is secured. Conditions about fares may not be imposed by a permit. TfL may at any time alter, remove or attach conditions to a permit. The duration of a permit will normally not be longer than 5 years. The effect of applying section 57 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981, through section 193, means that a permit is terminated early if a permit holder dies or becomes bankrupt, though TfL is given power to defer such termination if appropriate.

322.If a condition of a permit is contravened the holder may, by virtue of section 187(6), be liable to prosecution and if convicted fined up to the maximum of level 3 on the standard scale (currently set under the Criminal Justice Acts at £1,000). If the breach is considered serious enough by TfL the permit may be revoked or suspended (section 188.)

323.Section 189 provides that where a permit is refused, conditions are attached, altered or removed from a permit, or a permit is suspended or revoked TfL must issue a notice stating its reasons. An aggrieved applicant or permit holder will have a right of appeal to the Mayor who must refer the matter to an independent appeals panel before giving directions to TfL as to how it should act in response to the appeal.

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