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(1)Section 114 of the TA 2000 (quality partnership schemes) is amended as follows.
(2)In subsection (1), for the words from “will to any extent” to the end (which make it a condition that a scheme implement the policies in the authority's bus strategy) substitute “ will contribute to the implementation of their local transport policies ”.
(3)For subsection (3)(a) (authority must be satisfied that scheme will improve quality of local services) substitute—
“(a)bring benefits to persons using local services in the whole or any part of their area, or combined area, by improving the quality of those services, or”.
(4)After subsection (3) insert—
“(3A)If the authority or authorities consider that it is necessary or expedient for any restrictions to be imposed on the registration of—
(a)any local services, or
(b)any local services of a particular description,
they may impose those restrictions (“registration restrictions”) by specifying or describing them in the scheme.
(3B)Any restrictions so imposed must be for the purpose of preventing or restricting—
(a)the provision of local services, or
(b)the variation or withdrawal of local services,
in cases where the authority or authorities consider that any such provision, or (as the case may be) variation or withdrawal, of services might be detrimental to the provision of services under the scheme.
(3C)Where a scheme includes any registration restrictions by virtue of subsection (3A), it must also specify the criteria (“registration criteria”) by reference to which the traffic commissioners are to decide whether or not to accept an application for registration.
(3D)In subsections (3A) to (3C) “registration”, in relation to any service,—
(a)means registration of prescribed particulars of the service under section 6 of the Transport Act 1985 (registration of local services), and
(b)includes a reference to the variation or cancellation of any such registration.”.
(5)For subsection (6) substitute—
“(6)The standard of services which may be specified in a scheme includes—
(a)requirements which the vehicles being used to provide the services must meet, and
(b)requirements as to frequency or timing of the services,
but the specification of any such requirements is not to prevent operators from providing services in excess of those requirements.”.
(6)After subsection (6) insert—
“(6A)The standard of services which may be specified in a scheme may also include requirements as to the maximum fares that may be charged for particular journeys, or for journeys of particular descriptions, on services to which the scheme applies.
(6B)A scheme may include a requirement falling within subsection (6)(b) or (6A) only if there are no admissible objections to the requirement from relevant operators.
Section 122(3) to (5) makes further provision with respect to such schemes.”.
(7)After subsection (6B) insert—
“(6C)The power to make a quality partnership scheme includes power to provide for different facilities, or different standards of services, to be provided under the scheme as from different dates after the scheme comes into operation.”.
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