In its response to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) consultation on its controversial plans to reduce the types of work that community transport charities can do under a permit, the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) has asked for rules that are simple, fair and clear.
CPT said that trying to define a distance for operations that would be allowed under a permit because they have a minimal effect on the market is ‘wrong in principle and unworkable in practice.’
It also stated that the words “the nature of the goods carried, or”, which give an indication of the intention of the EU Regulation, ‘have been misleadingly omitted from the consultation.’
The CPT’s response also opposed the suggestion that the value of volunteers’ time could be used to inflate the cost of operations and create an artificial appearance that the income for the work done did not cover the cost.
It claimed that this could lead to a situation where ‘payments could generate a profit on the actual cost of running a service (with volunteers) but could count as substantially less than cost once volunteers’ notional wages were added in.’
Steven Salmon, Head of Policy Development said: “CPT has always maintained that the market rules for local transport should be based on safety and consumer protection, and not on the charitable status of players.
“The DfT consultation moves in the right direction, but it raises a number of detailed suggestions which worry us because they risk replacing one sort of unfair competition with others.”