Bus passengers get dedicated complaints body

Bus passengers get dedicated complaints body

Bus Users UK has become the statutory body for passenger complaints in England, Wales and Scotland under EU Passenger Rights Legislation.

The legislation, which came into effect in March 2013, provides better protection for bus and coach travellers throughout the EU and imposes a number of duties and responsibilities on bus and coach companies to uphold the rights of their passengers.

These duties include the non-discriminatory treatment of passengers, clear and accessible information, reimbursement and compensation for cancelled journeys, delays, injury or death, assistance during delays, and a complaints handling mechanism established by the bus and coach companies themselves.

In addition, each EU Member State has been required to set up a fully independent body to enforce the regulations.

 

While Bus Users UK has been handling bus complaints since 1998, this move officially recognises the organisation’s role and expertise in managing complaints appeals across the UK. Complaints in London and Northern Ireland will continue to be handled by London Travelwatch and the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland respectively.

 

Gillian Merron, Chair of Bus Users UK, has welcomed the move: “Becoming the nominated body for passenger complaints in bus and coach travel is a real vote of confidence for the excellent work of Bus Users UK. We already handle around 1,500 complaints annually, and have been expanding our work considerably throughout England, Wales and Scotland.”

The process for complaints handling will remain largely unchanged, with complaints going direct to the bus company in the first instance, before being referred to Bus Users UK.

Commenting on the announcement, Chief Executive of Bus Users UK, Claire Walters said: “As a result of this ruling, Bus Users will have an even stronger role to play in protecting the rights and needs of passengers, as well as helping bus and coach operators to improve their services and adhere to best practice.”

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