A message from our Chairman Lord Snape of Wednesbury:
I am pleased to welcome you to the Bus Appeals Body website.
The Body was launched in May 1998 and is a joint initiative by the Confederation of Passenger
Transport UK (CPT), the industry's trade association and Bus Users UK (formerly the National
Federation of Bus Users), which caters for the interests of passengers, to meet a need for an
independent means of reviewing passengers' complaints and representations where these have not been
settled with operators.
The Body is an impartial forum, and will deal with appeals arising from the operations of any UK bus or coach company (whether or not it belongs to the CPT), except where a statutory body fulfils this function. At present the only statutory bodies, which can deal with passengers' complaints about bus companies, are London Travelwatch, Bus Passengers' Platform (BPP), and the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland (GCCNI). London Travelwatch acts as a watchdog for all public transport facilities in Greater London, and BPP and GCCNI provide a similar service for bus passengers in Scotland and in Northern Ireland respectively.
The Body is a non-statutory committee offering an independent review of complaints arising from the
operation of local bus and scheduled coach services. It aims to improve relationships between bus and
coach passengers and operators by focusing attention on causes of dissatisfaction and the procedures
for handling complaints, and encouraging good practice.
The Body meets every two months to discuss the issues currently being reviewed. Members deal with
most complaints in correspondence with one another. The Body first invites the
Company involved to make observations and undertakes further investigation if necessary.
The Body gives a written opinion on whether it considers that the complaint was satisfactorily
handled. It will then suggest an appropriate form of redress to the company (if any), considering any
offer already made. The redress may be financial or take some other form. In normal circumstances,
the operator would then communicate directly with the complainant. The Body may also suggest changes
in the company's procedures.
There are currently no plans to put the Bus Appeals Body in England and Wales on a statutory footing.
I see no reason to change this approach. The Bus Appeals Body was set up to deal with individual
passengers who were not happy with the way their complaint had been dealt with by a particular bus
company. Britain's bus operators have fully supported this approach and have fully supported the
role the Body has played - but on a voluntary basis.
Where serious breaches of PSV operations do occur, it is for the Traffic Commissioners to take
matters forward. Where there are recurring complaints against a specific operator, BAB will bring
this to the attention of the Traffic Commissioners whose job it is to investigate breaches of licence
by operators. The Bus Appeals Body is about dealing fairly with individual passenger complaints
without recourse to law.
There is evidence that where bus operators and Local Authorities enter into Formal Quality
Partnerships, (a vital element of which is a system of properly enforced Bus Priority Measures) the
standard of service is improved and levels of ridership increased. BAB therefore supports the
roll-out of Quality Partnerships across the country.
We believe it important that bus passengers are afforded the extra level of consumer service that the Bus Appeals Body continues to provide. Ideally, all complaints should be dealt with by the operators in the first instance; but it would, of course, be unrealistic for anybody to expect that this will always be the case. When it is not, passengers deserve the right to appeal to another body without having to pursue lengthy and expensive legal action. BAB looks forward to working closely with both operators and Bus Users UK over the coming years to ensure that passengers' complaints are dealt with as fairly and as quickly as possible.
I hope that you will find this website will be both interesting and informative.
Lord Snape of Wednesbury