Islands’ Bus Operators Face Difficulty Over New Test

A new test for bus and van drivers will be expensive and difficult for the islands’ operators to take.

The Certificate of Professional Competence exam was introduced in 2008, but operators will need to sit the five separate seven-hour modules by September 2013, if they drive buses.

There’s another year before van drivers need to go on the 35-hour course.

Some of the module, like the use of digital tachographs, will be of no use here. Other areas of study include customer care and courtesy.

Island Rover operator, Glynne Lucas, says it will cost him around £1,000 to sit the course, including accommodation and travel.

But his staff will have to fund their own training and he’s worried that, with our shorter season, some won’t think it’s worth it.

Glynne says he’s been driving buses and lorries for over 40 years and he’s disappointed he’ll have someone telling him how to do a job, “who’s probably been around for less time than that.”

There’ll be possible fines of £1,000 for the driver and employer if you’re caught without the right certification after the 10th September.

Glynne has asked Lifelong Learning for funding so trainers can be brought over here, but it falls outside their remit. He says, as it’s an integral part of his license, they can’t fund it.

Community bus driver Steve Sims says it is another instance of health and safety gone mad, and basically pointless, but he believes that you don’t need the CPC if your vehicle is limited to a top speed of 28 mph.

He says that is faster than he goes with passengers and he would be happy to have a limiter fitted because it would make no difference to his service.


4 Responses to Islands’ Bus Operators Face Difficulty Over New Test

  1. Colin Taylor December 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Alec, I can help there
    This piece of legislation is news to me but if it is of assistance terms van & mini bus are mere human constructs. The legal definition is Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV)
    – A vehicle used for carrying passengers
    – which is constructed or adapted
    – to carry more than 16 passengers (a ‘large PCV’)
    – A vehicle used for carrying passengers for hire or reward
    – which is constructed or adapted
    – to carry more than 8 but not more than 16 passengers (a ‘small PCV’)
    The issue needed to be established will be whether the new legislation requires the test of large and/or small PCV’s.
    (It’s dull but perhaps answers your question)

  2. Alec hicks December 22, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Can someone confirm the term van as mini bus or will it be any van driver need this test, alec

  3. Steve December 22, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Oops! Glynne’s drivers (I’d just been reading the article about the Seahorse!

  4. Steve December 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Perhaps the council should introduce a 20mph speed limit throughout the Islands (10mph in Hugh Town) then we could all walk the lanes in safety and Steve’s drivers wouldn’t need to take the tests