Within Scouting there are three types of permit, Group, District, and County/Area.
The permit will vary with the type of event that the minibus is being used for.
In the case of a Scout Group using their minibus on a district event, a District permit will be required to carry district Scouts, in addition to their own Scouts who would be covered by their Group permit.
The same applies for County events where a County permit will be required for minibus use on a County activity.
The rules apply to all minibuses used whether they are owned, borrowed, or hired. These are the new rules from the Department for Transport.
If you require a proforma to apply for a permit go to scouts.org.uk. Further information is below.
All Scout Groups, District and Counties who operate i.e. own or hire, a Minibus require a Standard Bus Permit. Standard Bus permits are necessary so that voluntary groups can charge or accept a form of remuneration for providing transport for their own members, without having to comply with the full PSV operator licensing or PCV driver licensing requirements.
You can purchase the Section 19 Minibus Permits from the Scout Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 at a cost of £5.00 or you can download the application form from scouts.org.uk.
All permits issued on or after 6th April 2009 must be valid for a specified period of no more than five years from the “valid from date”. Usually the “valid from date” will be same as the date on which it was granted. It will be down to the individual Group/District and County to renew these Minibus Permits after the 5 years are lapsed.
Permits issued under the previous scheme (ie. no expiry date) will cease to be valid no later than April 2014. Decisions have not yet been taken about the exact timing, but there will be a gradual transition to allow plenty of time for existing permits to be replaced with new-style permits. We will let you know more information about this when it is available to us.
Helpful organisation is the Community Transport Association (CTA) who has factsheets on all aspects of Minibuses. Should you require advice relating to Driver Training or Minibus Safety, further information may also be obtained on the CTA Advice Line 0845 130 6195 or www.ctauk.org.
Please note that from 10th February 1997 ALL Minibuses irrespective of age, when carrying 3 or more children will have to be fitted with seatbelts in FORWARD FACING SEATS. The MINIMUM requirement will be a lap fitted belt fitted to each seat used by a child aged between 3 and 16 years of age.
At the same time there are a number of publications available FREE OF CHARGE from the Department of Environment, Transport & the Regions (DETR) including (some of which are available online):
- Rules on Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs
- Passenger Transport provided by Voluntary Groups (PSV385)
- Taking a Minibus Abroad
- For those Scout Groups that also carry Wheelchairs, the DETR publish a Code of Practice (VSE87/1)
- Seat Belts and Child restraints (T/INF/251)
- Driving a Minibus – Licensing Position of Drivers (INF28)
- Driving Licensing Requirements for Towing Trailers in Great Britain (INF30)
For further details of these publications please contact the
Department for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
Tel: 0300 330 3000
Department for Transport (gov.uk)
In the meantime should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact the Scout Information Centre.