In early July Kura finally saw some resolution to the issue of PSVAR which has caused considerable angst to schools up and down the country. Baroness Vere, Minister for Roads, Buses and Places, has issued a letter which outlines two phases towards the government’s goal of increased accessibility for transport. Read the letter here.
Phase 1 is a further extension to the exemptions from PSVAR which will run until 31st March 2022.
Phase 2 is an as yet to be developed plan to increase the number of vehicles which comply with Schedule 3 of the regulations concerning steps, gangways, handrails and signage but only a limited requirement for vehicles to comply with Schedule 1 of the regulations which involves the installation of a wheelchair lift.
Kura has taken a leading position in attempting to find a resolution to this issue, forming a group of more than 120 schools, operators, parents, and consultants which has held several meetings with officials from the Department for Transport. We are pleased that the Department appears to have incorporated many of our suggestions in their solution.
This has been a very difficult year as there were no guarantees that the government would not hold firm on their often-repeated line of no further extensions and full compliance from 1st August 2021. The result of this new information means there is not a requirement to have PSVAR compliant transport from August 1st. While it is good news, we must be aware that PSVAR is not going away, and vehicles will need to have some form of compliance by March 2022.
It is expected there will be new requirements once the plans are confirmed but we don’t anticipate they will be as extensive as those which were initially planned. Government legislation is driving operators to heavily invest in their fleet, to become greener and more inclusive. Whilst this is great to hear, it is expected that over the next few years the price of coaches for schools will inevitably increase. At Kura we will continue to manage pricing to ensure all our school customers receive best value for money.
If you would like to discuss this issue with Kura further or have a demo of our software to help you manage your school transport and suppliers better, email: [email protected]
To download a copy of Kura’s PSVAR whitepaper published in February 2021 click here.