Explanation of an Infringement and the implications of this for those entire road transport passenger companies operating under a section 19/22 permit/charity rules. Disadvantaged-Operators.
An infringement is issued to a member state if it fails to implement a European Directive, if a member state refuses to implement after an infringement has been issued the member state will be referred to the European Courts of Justice, this will result in a member state being fined 30.000 euro’s a day, and could face 9 million euro fine at the European Court of Justice, all member states sign to accept these Regulations and have a duty to implement them in full, these Regulations are automatically adopted into UK legislation and over rule UK Transport Acts.
Implications. The Uk Authorities have interpreted none-commercial as not-for-profit. Regulations in the European Directive only exempt the use of vehicles used for non-commercial purpose only, basically case law states the only time you may use a vehicle (mini-bus) is for your own purpose. The Judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-317/12 further clarifies what should be understood as non-commercial carriage.
The Commission have ruled that road transport organisations such as Community Transport organisations and others are not exempt from the 1071/2009 EC Regulation under Article 1 section 4 (b) because they are offering transport services to a third party, bidding for contracts and taking fares do not fit the criteria of non-commercial, also disparities have several adverse consequences, in particular a distortion of competition and a risk that the undertaking is employing staff with low levels of professional qualifications may be negligent in respect of, or less compliant, with rules on road safety and social welfare, which may harm the image of the passenger transport sector and putting members of the general public and other road users at risk.
This now means that the CT sector and other road transport organisations will have to license to PCV O license standards, with PCV drivers, the DCPC qualification and they will also have to adhere to PH regulations, a problem the sector will also face is you cannot simply O license and train drivers with public funds from the public purse because of the state aid issue, you cannot cross subsidise into commercial activity using grant aided funds, our lawyers will monitor this situation so this will not happen. This EU ruling will be greeted with dismay by the CT sector and others, but good news to the commercial operators that have been disadvantaged by the CT sector and others who have encroached into the commercial sector using a permit system that does not meet the European Regulations.
Disadvantaged, Commercial operators that have been effected by all of this will be entitled to compensation claims, have you taken part in competitive tender with the local council, have you had a permit operator encroach into your business affairs, have you suffered loss or do you know of operators that have ceased trading because of the effect permit holders are having, this is to include NHS non-emergency contracts, BCA will act as a consultant on this issue and prepare your claims for our lawyers, our lawyers will work on a no win no fee basis, case law is set whereby if a member state has failed to implement a Regulation and you have suffered loss then that member state is liable to compensate the claimant.
Our state aid case and the Drivers CPC and license cases remain open, BCA will contact the two departments dealing with these complaints because of the Infringement being issued, our lawyers have indicted this will have a bearing on the other two complaints because now it’s found that the UK have misinterpreted transport regulations, the granting will be deemed unlawful.
BCA would like to stress they are not against the CT sector or charity as they play a vital role to disadvantaged users.
This is a Landmark Judgment; the benefits to our industry will be enormous and will be felt by all in the commercial sector.
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