Bus Operation in the United Kingdom/Operating a local bus service

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Outside of London[edit | edit source]

Once an operator has a license, they can begin to register and operate local bus services. To do this, they must register with both their local council, and the Traffic Commissioner.

Have you planned for the impact of congestion on your timetable?

Before registering a route, operators should carry out several checks. Once a service is registered, operators are obliged to operate the route as registered, for at least 56 days following registration. The route should be checked to ensure that route is suitable for use by the intended vehicles, and that it is possible to keep to the planned timetable. The operator should also ensure they have sufficient vehicles and drivers, with allowances for vehicles faults or staff absences.[1]

London[edit | edit source]

A non TfL tendered London bus service, operating under a permit

Unlike the rest of Great Britain, buses in London were never deregulated. Most London bus services are tendered by TfL, with buses operated by private companies. TfL sets timetables, specifications, and fares, whilst the operators provide buses and staff. To operate a bus outside of this tendering regime, a London Service Permit is required, issued by Transport for London (TfL).[2][3] These are only issued for services not part of the "London Bus Network", such as sightseeing tours, or buses operating into London from outside of the capital.

References[edit | edit source]