How we work
What it is?
The Bus Appeals Body (BAB) is a non-statutory committee offering independent review of complaints
arising from the operation of local bus and scheduled coach services.
The Body is a joint initiative by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (UK), (the industry's
trade association) and Bus Users UK, which looks after the interests of passengers. The Traffic
Commissioners, who issue the licences under which bus and coach companies operate, assisted in
drawing up its Terms of Reference.
Most bus and coach companies see constructive complaint handling as an important means of developing
their relationship with their passengers. They recognize that an independent review body can assist
in this process.
Which companies are covered?
The Body will deal with appeals arising from the operations of any UK bus or coach company (whether or not it belongs to CPT) except where a statutory body fulfils this function. At present, the only statutory bodies which can deal with complaints about bus companies are the London Travelwatch, Bus Passengers' Platform (BPP) and the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland. London Travelwatch acts as a "watchdog" for all Transport for London services, Bus Passengers' Platform (BPP) for bus users in Scotland and the GCCNI performs a similar role in Northern Ireland.
Who can bring an appeal to the Body?
The BAB will deal with complaints from or on behalf of individuals. It is not in a position to deal
with collective grievances.
What can I appeal about?
The BAB will consider complaints arising when individuals have used, or attempted to use, local bus
and express coach services. Separate arrangements exist for coach holidays operated under CPT's
Bonded Coach Holidays scheme. The BAB cannot deal with "excursion" coach trips, nor with coaches
hired as a whole.
The Body's Terms of Reference cover operational matters such as running to time, charging the correct
fare and the behaviour of staff. The Body cannot deal with policy and commercial issues such as the
level of fares, the places that buses run to or the timetables that are offered.
Bus services in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland are outside the Body's remit (see above).
When can the BAB get involved?
Only when the company concerned has had an opportunity to deal with the complaint. Users can
contact the BAB if they are not satisfied with a company's response, or if the company has not
responded within a reasonable time. The BAB will not consider appeals raised more than three months
after the original incident.
How can I appeal?
If your appeal falls within the BAB's remit, send it, in as much detail as possible, to:-
Bus Appeals Body, c/o Bus Users UK PO Box 119, Shepperton TW17 8UX, email email@example.com.
If you can, send copies of all correspondence with the bus or coach company.
Who is on the Bus Appeals Body?
The Body will normally consist of three people. A passenger representative nominated by Bus Users UK, a bus company representative nominated by CPT and an independent chairman. Administrative support is provided by Bus Users UK.
The BAB will invite the company involved to make observations and then consider these alongside your
comments, undertaking further investigation if necessary. In looking at the facts of the case, it
will consider the extent to which the company has followed CPT Code of Conduct on Customer
Suggestions and Complaints.
The Body will give a written opinion on whether it considers your complaint was satisfactorily
The BAB will suggest an appropriate form of redress to the company (if any), considering any offer
already made. The recommended redress may be financial or take some other form. In normal
circumstances, the operator would then communicate directly with the complainant.
The BAB aims to take no more than eight weeks to reach a decision, in the majority of cases.
Does the company have to do what the Body suggests?
No. The BAB has no power to force companies to make payments, or to take any other action. However, most companies are likely to accept its findings.
There are two good reasons why companies are likely to act on the recommendations of the BAB.
- The BABís findings are public. You can let the local media know the outcome of your appeal, as can Bus Users UK, the Confederation of Passenger Transport, the company or the Body itself.
- Bus and Coach Companies need an operatorís licence to continue in business. The Traffic Commissioner who licenses all bus operators will be made aware of the complaint, the appeal and the outcome where there has been an apparent infringement of a matter over which he has statutory responsibility. The Commissioner can take the matter into account when reviewing the companyís licence.
What if I reach agreement with the company before the BAB gives its
If either you or the company notifies the BAB that you have agreed a settlement, the BAB will stop
dealing with the case.
How does using the BAB affect my options?
The Body aims to achieve acceptable outcomes for all parties. However, making use of the BAB does
not prevent you
taking up the matter through other channels, such as your local trading standards department or the