The commissioners called a total of 215 cases to public inquiry. In
30 cases, they revoked the operating licence of the operator; they
also suspended 24 licences, and in 73 cases reduced the number of
Traffic commissioners also considered seven per cent more conduct
cases involving bus and coach drivers in 1996-97 compared to the
previous year. The reports also show a small decrease (four per
cent) in the number of bus and coach operator licences in issue, down
to a figure of 7,171. This ends a seven year run of increases. The
total number of vehicles licensed is 83,253.
The number of applications for licences fell by 49 per cent. This is
mainly attributable to the introduction of continuous licensing on 1
January 1996 which has meant that operators no longer need to apply
for a new licence every five years.
Applications to register, vary or cancel bus service registrations
remained largely static, indicating stability in the provision of bus
services, although with some regional variations.
1. Traffic commissioners are independent statutory authorities
appointed by the secretary of state for each of the six traffic areas
in Great Britain. Their responsibilities include the licensing of
operators of public service vehicles and the registration of local
bus services. They also exercise a disciplinary function in respect
of holders of entitlement to drive passenger carrying vehicles (buses
2. The traffic commissioners are provided with administrative
support by staff at six traffic area offices.
3. The annual reports of the traffic commissioners for 1996/97
are available from the Traffic Area Network Unit, Zone 2/07,
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Great
Minster House, 76 Marsham Street; London SW1P 4DR, priced£2.
Cheques and Postal Orders should be made payable to the Department of
Environment, Transport and the Regions and accompany all orders.
4. The annual reports of the traffic commissioners on the
licensing of operators of heavy goods vehicles are also published
today (see Press Notice No.193).