First Aberdeen Limited plans for commercial services after the post COVID funding: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Bus operators had to forward to you plans for commercial services after the post COVID funding ends this month. I would like to have sight of the one for First Aberdeen Limited.


An exemption under section 27(1) of FOISA applies to all of the information you have requested. Under Section 27 - Information intended for future publication section 27(1) applies if the information is already due to be published. To operate a vehicle for hire or reward you need a public service vehicle operator’s licence and all local bus services are registered under this licence with the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (OTC). For any new registration of routes an application is made to the OTC 14 days after informing the Local Authority of intent to register a service.

Similarly, with any variation or cancellation of an existing registration you must inform the local transport authority(s) of the intentions at least 28 days before you apply to the Traffic Commissioner. The operator has to give 42 days notice to the OTC of the cancellation, from the date the OTC receives it.

Where an operator wishes to vary or cancel a registration, the operator shall, for the period of 21 days ending with the day before the day on which the variation or cancellation has effect, display in each vehicle provided under the relevant service, a notice informing passengers that such an application has been made and where information on the variation or cancellation can be obtained.

The OTC publishes details of local services that have been registered in Notices & Proceedings, which comes out every fortnight. Changes to and cancellation of services are also published there. You are also able to search on all registrations listed for First Aberdeen Ltd at Find registered local bus services - Vehicle Operator Licensing - GOV.UK ( First Aberdeen Ltd operators licence number is PM0000631.

This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We recognise that there is some public interest in release because it relates to local bus services registered for public use. However, this is outweighed by the public interest in applying the exemption as local bus services run in an open de-regulated market, as established by the Transport Act 1985, and Scottish Ministers have no powers to intervene. Individual bus operators who use their own commercial judgement on conditions of carriage, fares, services routes and timetables. Any changes to services are notified to the public within the prescribed notification periods as enforced by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

Back to top