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.

 



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