A new remit for the transport tribunal

Fawcett, Paul (1992) A new remit for the transport tribunal. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The Transport Act 1985, which de-regulated bus services in Great Britain, simultaneously provided that appeals against the refusal to grant a PSV Operators Licence, or its revocation, passed from the Secretary of State for Transport to the Transport Tribunal. The Tribunal has excercised this function in respect of Goods Vehicle Operators since 1968, and its
decisions have established precedents.
The research analyses the decisions in 31 PSV appeals to discover whether the Tribunal has applied these earlier precedents or built up a parallel but independant body of PSV Operator Licensing case law. Specifically, the hypothesis which was tested was that decisions In PSV Operator Licence appeals would increasingly reflect established case law in Goods Vehicle Operator Licence appeals, and that the two areas of law would tend to converge.
There are considerable similarities in the legislation relating to Goods Vehicle and Passenger Vehicles Operator Licensing, and also a few significant differences. in particular, PSV Operators are not subject to the same environmental controls as Goods Vehicle Operators. Extensive textual analysis is made of the legislation, using a relational database, to establish the extent of any commonality.
The PSV Operator Licence appeals heard since 1986, dealt with 24 separate issues of common concern to PSV and Goods Vehicle Operators. It has proved possible to isolate these by creating a database of PSV decisions, and to make comparisons with two existing similar databases of Goods Vehicle decisions.
Using this data a profile analysis has been made of these issues to describe how frequently they occur, where parallel goods vehicle legislation or precedent exists or if the issue has attracted political attention.
A legislative index and tribunal index for each issue has been conslicted to describe respectively the similarities / differences between the underlying legislation and the degree of convergence / divergence between the Tribunal's decisions relating to passenger and goods vehicle licensing.
There is a strong correllation between the two indices. The proportion of appeals allowed, dismissed and remitted has also been analysed for both goods vehicle licensing appeals (before and after 1986) and PSY licensing appeals (after 1986) and found to be very similar. There have as yet been no goods vehicle licensing appeals in which a precedent established in a PSV licensing appeal has been persuasive, but the reverse has become commonplace since 1986.
The research demonstrates that there has been a significant convergence of the two bodies of law since 1986, and suggests that there might be even greater convergence of the two systems some time in the future, with the
long term prospects of their eventually merging as a single Commercial Vehicle Operators' Licence.

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