Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fourth Report

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the regulations)

These Regulations are made partly in consequence of the Public Service Vehicles Accessibility Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1970 - "the 2000 Regulations"), which imposed new accessibility requirements for disabled persons (particularly those in wheelchairs) to single-deck and double-deck buses and coaches, and partly in order to apply certain provisions to all public service vehicles on account of the fact that on a voluntary basis more vehicles are being made accessible to disabled persons. Accordingly, amendments are made to the Public Service Vehicles (Conditions of Fitness, Equipment, Use and Certification) Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/257 - "the 1981 Regulations") to update certain provisions and to provide certain alternative provisions in line with the 2000 Regulations so as to provide for consistency between the requirements under the 1981 Regulations and the provisions that now apply to and regulate new public service vehicles under the 2000 Regulations.

The principal amendments are—

1. to regulation 6 (stability), by including the deemed weight of a wheelchair and wheelchair user to be 180 kilograms for the purposes of stability tests (regulation 4);

2. to regulation 20 (steps, platforms and stairs), by disapplying existing step requirements where the improved step provisions of the 2000 Regulations are met (regulation 5);

3. to regulations 21 (number, position and size of entrances and exits) and 22 (width of entrances and exits), by disapplying existing width requirements where the width of an entrance or exit is not less than 800 millimetres for wheelchair access (regulations 6 and 7);

4. to regulation 23 (doors), by permitting the fitting of devices designed so that the motion of the vehicle will prevent an entrance or an exit door from being readily opened (regulation 8);

5. to regulation 26 (width of gangways), by permitting the requirements of the 2000 Regulations as an alternative to the existing requirements for all public service vehicles and the removal from the 1981 Regulations of certain gangway provisions (regulation 9);

6. to regulation 28 (seats), by relieving regulated public service vehicles fitted with seats that comply with the requirements of the 2000 Regulations from having to comply with those requirements of the 1981 Regulations (regulation 10); and

7. the introduction of requirements in relation to route and destination displays (regulations 11).

New forms for certificates of initial fitness, for declarations of conformity to an approved type vehicle and for certificates of conformity are also prescribed (regulations 12 to 14).

A Regulatory Impact Assessment of the costs and benefits of the making of these Regulations has been prepared and copies can be obtained from the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Zone 1/18, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR (telephone 020 7944 4914). A copy has been placed in the library of each House of Parliament.

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