Joint consultation on proposed changes to section 10B permits and revised guidance on minibus driving

The Department for Infrastructure has today launched a joint consultation on proposed changes to Section 10B permits and revised guidance on minibus driving.

A section 10B permit can provide an exemption to full licensing requirements for some organisations providing bus passenger transport for communities or on a non profit basis.  The proposed changes will bring current legislation into line with the requirements set out EC Regulation 1071/2009.

The second consultation is based on a revision to minibus driving licence guidance.  The interactions between the driving licence and qualification legislation, and indeed the wider body of legislation relating to passenger transport, are complex.

In that context, it has become increasingly clear that our existing body of guidance on minibus driving is not sustainable and has caused some confusion as to the requirements it places on operators and drivers.

While this consultation does not propose or set out any changes to the existing body of legislation and policy in relation to minibus driver licensing, the revised guidance does update the Department’s interpretation of the legislation.  In particular, the revised guidance will affect paid drivers who will no longer be able to drive a minibus on a D1(nfhr) licence and will require a full minibus driving licence and Drivers Certificate of Professional Competence (DCPC).  Some 'volunteers' will also be affected as the guidance indicates that anyone who drives as a consequence of their employment or for a commercial organisation should hold a full minibus licence and DCPC.

The consultation is seeking views on how best to introduce the changes to section 10B and on the clarity of the guidance on minibus driving.

The consultation will run from 22 September to 8 December 2017.  A copy of the consultation papers can be downloaded here.