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Transport (Scotland) Act 2019

Bus services improvement partnerships


108.Sections 35 and 36 of the Act introduce a number of new provisions on Bus Services Improvement Partnerships (BSIPs) into the 2001 Act (inserted sections 3A to 3M and a new schedule A1). These provisions replace the material on quality partnerships in Part 2 of the 2001 Act and provide an updated and revised model for how local transport authorities can work with operators to improve the quality and efficiency of local services.

109.Section 37 provides for the changes necessary to the 1985 Act to deal with the registration of local services where a BSIP is in place. These mainly relate to the enforcement of the service standards imposed by the schemes which implement the arrangements. Some further amendments which are consequential on these changes are in Part 1 of the schedule of the Act.

110.BSIPs involve local transport authorities formulating a plan (called a partnership plan in the Act) with the operators in their area and then deciding on how best to implement it through supporting schemes (partnership schemes). BSIPs contain several distinguishing features from quality partnerships, namely:

  • there is a requirement for the local transport authority to invest in some way (whether through new facilities or taking certain measures to assist the operators);

  • the range of available ‘service standards’ is more extensive;

  • operators are to be involved in the preparation of the partnership plans and schemes and have a say in whether the plans or schemes are to proceed;

  • reflecting that involvement, operators in the area of a scheme must provide a service which meets the operational service standards or risk losing the right to operate the service through deregistration;

  • the traffic commissioner can refuse an application for registration by an operator who, in the commissioner’s opinion, cannot meet the operational service standards that are applicable in an area.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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