BUS OPERATORS’ FORUM - WORKING GROUP
16th November 2010 - Minutes
Members of Group
Bus Operators: (in grey = apologies)
Colin Simmonds Country Hopper
Ron Weston Total Travel
Eileen Jackson Nigel Jackson Travel
Martin Barks Roberts Coaches
Ken Williams; Andy Harris Confidence Coaches
Bryan Garratt Abbey Travel
Andrew Webster West End Travel
John McDonald Beaver Bus
Anthony Winson Paul Winson Coaches
Dave Smith,(Chair) Team leader, Quality Team
Mark Watters, Team Leader, Business Development & Support
Simon Noakes, Transport Officer, Contracts Team
Simon Garratt, Transport Officer, Safer Travel / Quality team
1. Introductions & Apologies. DS
2. Minutes of last meeting. DS
Mark Watters updated the group on the historic exceptions process, the scrutiny
committee are still meeting and a conclusion should be reached by Christmas.
Dave Smith informed the group of the recruitment of 2 School Bus tutors to start on 6th
John McDonald raised concerns over students receiving transport entitlement that have
made false declarations of address or course details at the chosen college. Mark
Watters will pass on all details and concerns to CYPS as these are brought to light.
Contractors urged to report any suspicions to Mark.
Minutes were noted and agreed.
3. Requests to investigate complaints. DS
Dave Smith explained how complaints were processed from initial call from complainant
to how the quality team are then notified via the defect database. John Mc Donald
raised concerns over the quality of the complaints that were sent to him, Dave
reassured that this would be resolved through further training – with the aim of clearly
identifying what the complaint was about. Dave Smith and Simon Garratt asked all
operators to encourage their drivers to report any instances of poor behaviour
immediately and gave their assurances that any report would be investigated.
4. Driver CPC – Round table on progress DS
Dave Smith asked the group for updates on the progress of their drivers CPC;
All members of the group confirmed they were on target. Dave Smith informed the
group that LCC were looking into the possibility of having our own accredited training
course, concentrating on the school run therefore counting towards CPC.
John McDonald raised the issue of CRB checked drivers, indicating that drivers coming
to him from other companies did not have a drivers badge from LCC. Dave Smith
assured him that all companies are aware of our policy regarding CRB checks.
Contractors are required to inform the Council of drivers leaving or joining so that the
driver registration can be updated and the contractor informed if the driver is subject to
suspension or ban.
5. Variance on School bus pick ups and times DS
Dave Smith asked that all operators inform us of any changes that are made to pick up
points or pick up times, to ensure that the appropriate changes are made to the official
schedule, including pick up points that are shown where no students catch the bus. This
is to ensure that if the contract is taken over for any reason it will operate „as normal‟.
Contractors are asked to ensure that their drivers report any stops they have ceased to
serve or observe due to no demand.
6. Local Bus Service monitoring forms. MW
Mark Watters informed the group that revised monitoring forms will be sent out to all
operators of LBS contracts in the near future, operators were encouraged to be as
accurate as possible when completing these forms, as errors may lead to delays in
7. E Auctions update. MW
Mark Watters reminded the group that the registration process for eAuctions closed on
the 12th November and that there had been a good response.
The training package is still available until midnight on 30th November where operators
can compete in dummy auctions, so that they are familiar with the system.
The live auction starts at 10am on 1st December, a reminder that although this has been
called a „pilot‟ it is a real auction, for real contracts. Winning operators on this day will
receive a conformation email on the day or day after. After that the usual formal award
will be sent in writing along with the schedule. Any queries please contact Mark Watters
or Ashley Holland. For technical queries please contract Bravo Solutions helpline 0800
8. Invoice Payments. MW
Mark went through the „Quick guide for taxi/bus operators - preparing and sending
invoices‟ (attached below, see page 5 and also available on the LCC website), which
contains some updated information following the change to the way LCC manages its
Please read the attached document with particular reference to the section on
contractual terms –
“Whilst we currently regularly exceed our contractual payment terms for passenger transport
contracts, operators should note that from 1st April 2011, all invoices will be processed on a strict
30 day payment schedule as per „Schedule 2‟ Contracts Conditions.”
This means that payment will usually be received by you 30 days after the date of receipt
of a valid invoice. (A valid invoice will consist of correct information which refers to
journeys that have already taken place).
Please note the PTU will not be able to accelerate invoice payment.
9. Driver relationships with students DS
Dave Smith informed the group that, due to recent events, LCC will be updating the
drivers guidelines regarding the use of social networking websites e.g. Facebook.
Simon Garratt explained Facebook to the group and encouraged all operators to ensure
that if their drivers have Facebook accounts, their security settings are set to the highest
possible so that school children cannot see anything on their page. Also that they must
not, in any circumstances become „Facebook friends‟ with any student that they carry.
Failing to adhere to this guidance will result in the matter being passed to child protection
Mark Watters reminded operators to check that their email address is still the same
address that LCC have been given, and to notify us of any changes. Also operators are
advised to check the LCC website regularly with regard to new tenders and other
information as emails are not always reliable.
Next meeting February 2011
Keith McNally, Regional Manager of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK,
has asked if he can join the Operator Working Group. The feeling of the Council is
that this would broaden the representation on the group and be a useful channel of
communication nationally. The views of the current group membership are
therefore sought prior to inviting Keith to our next meeting.
4 Quick guide for taxi/bus operators - Preparing and sending Invoices
The Passenger Transport Unit (PTU) continues to receive a number of invoices that are
inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise difficult to process. To help us pay you as quickly as
possible, invoices need to clearly display a number of key pieces of information, as explained
To provide the PTU with an appropriate invoice, operators will need to ensure that;
1) Invoices are addressed correctly to the Passenger Transport Unit, as follows;
Business Development & Support Team
Passenger Transport Unit
Environment & Transport Department
Leicestershire County Council
Leicester LE3 8RJ
Or email to PTU@leics.gov.uk
(Please do NOT use our PO BOX address as this will delay delivery of your invoice)
2) The invoice number is clearly identified.
3) The appropriate contract number is clearly displayed.
4) The relevant dates, days of operation and brief description are noted.
5) Your contact details are provided.
6) The correct prices are quoted and arithmetic is correct.
7) Journey costs, VAT rates, elements and overall totals are displayed clearly and calculated
correctly. If only part of the invoice total is subject to VAT, and the whole invoice is more
than £250, the element incurring VAT must be shown separately.
8) Payee details are provided. If you are registered for VAT, the payee name must correspond
to the name in which the VAT registration is held. In all cases we will only make payment to
the supplier we are contracted with and cannot make payments to multiple payees.
Some other important points to remember
Your invoice should be printed, but clear handwritten invoices can currently still be
Please declare any journeys that are varied or not operated on the invoice.
Do not include any unnecessary or irrelevant information on the invoice.
Multiple contracts may be shown on one invoice, but please note that a query on one
contract will delay the whole invoice.
Please send invoices to PTU in good time – late invoices won‟t be paid (12+ months).
The VAT rate used on the invoice must be that applicable at the tax point (invoice) date -
i.e. 17.5% for invoices dated 3 January 2011 or before and 20% for invoices dated 4
January 2011 or after.
Invoices should not be sent in when some of the journeys shown are still to be operated.
Processing of an invoice cannot begin until after the time of the last journey shown on the
In accordance with contract conditions, invoices should not be submitted more frequently
than once every calendar month.
Payments will be made by BACS as default. Cheque payments will only be made as an
PTU are increasing audits across all services (e.g. with schools and parents)
If you are told by the school or establishment, the service user, or the service user's carer
of a change in circumstances that will have any effect on the operation of the contract,
you must inform PTU, either by email PTU@leics.gov.uk or by phone on 0116 305 0001.
Whilst we currently regularly exceed our contractual payment terms for passenger
transport contracts, operators should note that from 1st April 2011, all invoices will be
processed on a strict 30 day payment schedule as per „Schedule 2‟ Contracts
Failure to follow any of the advice given in this guide may lead to your invoice being
returned for correction and/or delay in your payment.
Issued: November 2010
PTU CONTACT LIST
Main Helpline: Customer Service Centre 0116 3050002. Fax 0116 3057181
Invoice enquiries (payment queries only): 0116 3053772
Contracts Team: Deal with tenders, contract changes, allocate users to transport, organise bus and taxi
Team Leader Ashley Holland 0116 3056626 firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Contract Manager Rob Whittaker 0116 3057256 email@example.com
Transport Officer Simon Noakes 0116 3057132 firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport Officer (Th-F) Gab Jurenko 0116 3057887 email@example.com
Contract Manager Sally Gibbs 0116 3057247 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contract Manager Sue Lewin 0116 3058119 email@example.com
Transport Officer Kat Lowen 0116 3057024 firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport Officer Tracy Irving 0116 3057284 email@example.com
Transport Officer vacant 0116 3056628
Transport Officer Sue Kenney 0116 3058120 firstname.lastname@example.org
Contract Manager Katie Brown 0116 3057248 email@example.com
Contract Manager Jo Henry 0116 3057414 firstname.lastname@example.org
Transport Officer Rachel Draper Maternity Leave email@example.com
Transport Officer Helen Richardson 0116 3057346 firstname.lastname@example.org