Have your say on the Bus Services Bill

02 March 2017

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Bus Services Bill [Lords], which is currently passing through Parliament?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 14 March 2017; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which is expected to be not later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017. However, please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017.*

* In the current Parliamentary Session, the following Public Bill Committees have concluded their consideration of the Bill earlier than scheduled: Criminal Finances, Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts), Health Service Medical Supplies (Costs), Neighbourhood Planning, Savings (Government Contributions), Technical and Further Education, Commonwealth Development Corporation, Children & Social Work, and National Citizen Service.

Aims of the Bill

In the 2016 Queen’s Speech the Government announced a Bus Services Bill to:

  • give elected mayors and local transport authorities the power to improve bus services for the people who use them;
  • give mayoral combined authorities London-style powers to franchise local services; and
  • make data about routes, fares and times available across the country to app developers to give passengers better information about how to make the most of local bus services.

On 8 February 2017, the Government published draft regulations and guidance on a number of issues covered by the Bill, including:

  • Advanced Quality Partnership Schemes
  •  franchising including:
    - service permits
    -
    transitional provisions
  • enhanced partnerships and the operator objection mechanism
  • information on varied or cancelled services

The guidance includes:

  • information authorities should follow when conducting an assessment of their franchising scheme
  • how authorities should approach enhanced partnerships
  • competition considerations

The consultation closes on 21 March.

Follow the progress of the Bus Services Bill [Lords]

The Bus Services Bill was initially published in the House of Lords and completed its Parliamentary stages there on 23 November 2016. The Bill was presented to the House of Commons on 24 November 2016 and had its second reading debate on 1 March 2017.

This Bill has now been committed to a Public Bill Committee which is expected to hold its first meeting on Tuesday 14 March 2017. The Public Bill Committee is expected to finish and conclude by Tuesday 21 March 2017. There will be no oral evidence sessions.

Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for written evidence submissions

The Public Bill Committee is now able to receive written evidence. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. Once the Committee has dealt with an amendment it will not revisit it. The order in which amendments are taken in Committee will be available in due course under Selection of Amendments on the Bill documents page.

The Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 14 March 2017; it will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage, which will be no later than Tuesday 21 March 2017. Please note that when the Committee concludes its consideration of the Bill it is no longer able to receive written evidence and it can conclude earlier than the expected deadline of 5.00pm on Tuesday 21 March 2017.

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware.

Your submission could most usefully:

  • suggest amendments to the Bill, with supporting explanation; and
  • (when amendments are published) support or oppose amendments tabled to the Bill by Members of Parliament, with supporting explanation

It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere.

If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the Scrutiny Unit (details below).

How should written evidence be submitted?

Your submission should be emailed to scrutiny@parliament.uk. Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee. Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering.

Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

Please include in the covering email the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.

What will happen to my evidence?

The written evidence will be circulated to all Committee Members to inform their consideration of the Bill. 

Most submissions will also be published on the internet as soon as possible after the Committee has started sitting.

Those making a submission to a Bill Committee should note the following:

  • Committees publish most of the written evidence they receive on the internet (where it will be accessible to search engines).
    If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so and explain your reasons for not wishing its disclosure. The committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the committee, please contact the clerk of the committee to discuss this. The Scrutiny Unit (details below) will be able to provide you with contact details for the clerk.
  • A Committee is not obliged to accept your submission as evidence, nor to publish any or all of the submission even if it has been accepted as evidence. This may occur where a submission is very long or contains material to which it is inappropriate to give parliamentary privilege (see Guide for Witnesses (PDF PDF 1.23 MB)for further information on parliamentary privilege).
  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a submission, in which case it should be clearly referenced, preferably with a hyperlink.
  • You should be careful not to comment on matters currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the clerk of the committee how this might affect your submission.
  • Once submitted, no public use should be made of any submission prepared specifically for the committee unless you have first obtained permission from the clerk of the committee. If you are given permission by the committee to publish your evidence separately, you should be aware that you will be legally responsible for its content.
  • Evidence which is accepted by the Committee may be published online at any stage; when it is so published it becomes subject to parliamentary copyright and is protected by parliamentary privilege.
  • Once you have received acknowledgement that the evidence has been published you may publicise or publish your evidence yourself. In doing so you must indicate that it was prepared for the Committee, and you should be aware that your publication or re-publication of your evidence may not be protected by parliamentary privilege.
  • Public Bill Committees do not investigate individual cases of complaint or allegations of maladministration.

Data protection

  • The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing.
  • The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.
  • If you have any queries or concerns about the collection and use of this information please advise the committee team providing your full contact details.

Scrutiny Unit contact details
Email: scrutiny@parliament.uk
Telephone: 020 7219 8387
Address: Ian Hook
Senior Executive Officer
Scrutiny Unit
House of Commons 
London SW1A OAA

Image: iStockphoto

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