terms & conditions

terms & conditions of carriage

(herein referred to as the “Terms”) for Moorlands Connect

1. Introduction

1.1 The Terms and Conditions of Carriage detailed here and as amended from time to time, are those by which all Moorlands Connect services are provided, including digital content via the Moorlands Connect application (app).

1.2 Please read these, and any other terms and conditions or information available (for example regarding use of the app), carefully before purchasing a ticket or pass, making a journey reservation, or utilising the services of Moorlands Connect.

1.3 Use of Moorlands Connect vehicles, and those of any partner operator or organisation, are subject to the Condition of Carriage detailed in the section entitled “Our Responsibilities, Customer Behaviour and Conduct, and Conditions of Carriage”

1.4 These Terms and Conditions of Carriage replace any previous versions, come into force immediately, and remain current until they are republished. Staff working for or on behalf of Moorlands Connect, or any partner operator or organisation, have no authority to make any individual exceptions to these Terms and Conditions of Carriage.

2. About Us

2.1 Moorlands Connect is a brand name of demand responsive bus services operated and managed on behalf of Staffordshire County Council, 1 Staffordshire Place, Stafford, ST16 2LP, by Ashbourne Little Bus Company (Registered in England Number 09364642) whose registered office is Ashbourne Little Bus Company, Ashbourne Community Transport, Blenheim Road, Airfield Industrial Estate, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1HA, and Via Transportation, Inc., whose registered office is 160 Varick Street, 4th Floor, New York, New York 10013, their partners and subcontractors.

2.2 Moorlands Connect welcomes all queries, feedback, suggestions and comments by email: enquiries@moorlandsconnect.co.uk

Telephone: 01335 342951

Post: Moorlands Connect, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street, Stafford, ST16 2DH

Website: www.moorlandsconnect.co.uk

2.3 If you are not satisfied with the resolution of any dispute, Bus Users UK can review your case independently. They can be contacted at Bus Users England, Princes Exchange, Princes Square, Leeds, LS1 4HY

Telephone: 0300 111 0001

Email: enquiries@bususers.org

Website: www.bususers.org

3. Definitions

“SCC” – Staffordshire County Council

“Via” - Via Transportation, Inc.

“MC” – Moorlands Connect

“ACT” – Ashbourne Little Bus Company, Ashbourne Community Transport

“Partner Operator or organisation” - a third party operator or organisation who provides services as a subcontractor, on behalf of ACT, Via Transportation, Inc., or Staffordshire County Council, or is otherwise involved with these organisations.

“We” “Us” – Moorlands Connect, provided by Staffordshire County Council, Ashbourne Little Bus Company, Via Transportation, Inc.

“Company” – Moorlands Connect provided by Staffordshire County Council, Ashbourne Little Bus Company, Via Transportation, Inc.

“Our” - provided by, belonging to, or of, Moorlands Connect, provided by Staffordshire County Council, Ashbourne Little Bus Company or Via Transportation, Inc.

“Vehicle” - Bus, minibus, coach, taxi or private hire carriage but which the Moorlands Connect service is operated.

“Journey” - The act of travelling from the agreed pick up point to the agreed set down point on the Moorlands Connect Service,

“Virtual stop” - A predefined point within the defined area of service where our vehicles can be scheduled to pick up or set down Customers.

4. Acceptance of The Terms & Conditions of Carriage

4.1 By purchasing a ticket or pass, making a journey reservation, or utilising the services of Moorlands Connect by any means, you enter into an agreement with the Company and agree to comply with these Terms and Conditions of Carriage.

4.2 If you are purchasing a ticket or pass or making a journey reservation for another person (whether you are travelling with them or not), then it is your duty to ensure that the person is made aware of these Terms and Conditions of Carriage and that they agree to comply with them when utilising the services of Moorlands Connect. If you are an adult accompanying a child, it is your responsibility to make sure that the child also complies with these Terms and Conditions of Carriage.

4.3 We agree to carry you, and those booked by you, on the journey booked and subject to these conditions.

5. User & Traveller Details

5.1 Any individual aged 18 and over is entitled to register to use the service using the app. Those aged under 18, but aged 16 or over, may have their own accounts but only with consent from their parent/guardian.

5.2 All users, whether adult or child, are required to have a seat booked (whether there is a fare payable or not) for their journey. The only exceptions to this are babies if they are able to sit on an adult's lap.

5.3 At the time of booking you must indicate the number of people in your party who are travelling, regardless of age or fare payable. We reserve the right to refuse access to any additional people in your party.

5.4 The holder of the account that has booked a journey for more than one person, is responsible for the behaviour and conduct of all those travelling under that booking. Behaviour and conduct requirements are detailed in the section entitled “Our Responsibilities, Customer Behaviour and Conduct, and Conditions of Carriage”.

6. Service Area

6.1 A “journey” is quantified as the act of travelling from the pick-up point to the set down point, where both the pick-up point and set down are predefined points in the operational area as detailed, and on one of our vehicles.

6.2 In the event that a booked journey cannot utilise the booked stop, we will endeavour to utilise a nearest available, suitable stop.

6.3 Journeys can be tracked using the app.

7. Service Accessibility

7.1 Our drivers will assist wheelchair and mobility scooter users, disabled users and those requiring additional assistance to board our services, as per their legal requirements.

7.2 Users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters have priority use of the designated wheelchair space on our vehicles by law. It is required that non-wheelchair users vacate the designated wheelchair space where it is possible to do so.

7.3 Due to capacity constraints, or in the event that customers choose not to cooperate, we cannot guarantee availability of the wheelchair space on every service.

7.4 The maximum dimensions of a manual or powered wheelchair, or mobility scooter that can be carried on our vehicles are: 130cm long by 75cm.

7.5 Pushchairs and buggies can be carried unfolded on our vehicles in the space designated for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, but they must be folded down if a wheelchair user wishes to board.

7.6 Customers have a responsibility to ensure that their pushchair, buggy, wheelchair, mobility scooter, or anything else, is safely positioned in the designated area, and that it does not block any exit, emergency exit or aisle.

7.7 Assistance dogs are allowed to travel free of charge at all times and cannot be refused boarding. Other dogs accompanying passengers should ordinarily be allowed to travel, subject to them being on a lead. Boarding may be refused if, in the reasonable opinion of the driver, the dog poses any potential risk to the driver or passengers. A fare may be charged for non-assistance dogs. Dogs are not allowed on the seats.

7.8 Customers can use the exterior bike racks on the vehicles which must be pre-booked. Customers will be responsible for the loading and unloading of bikes onto the racks, supervised by the bus driver. Staffordshire County Council and Ashbourne Little Bus Company cannot accept responsibility for any damage to, or loss of, bicycles whilst being carried on this service.

8. Substitute Vehicles

8.1 Whilst we will endeavour to ensure the full livery and features of the Moorlands Connect service are provided on the vehicles, there may be occasions where a substitute vehicle will be used to cover for non-availability of the usual vehicle.

9. Service Registration and User Accounts

9.1 App

9.1.1 The app is available to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple app Store

9.1.2 To use the app you must create an account and register a username, password, valid email address and UK mobile telephone number. A means of payment must also be linked to the account before the first booking. This can be a Credit or Debit card.

9.1.3 At all times you are responsible for your log-in details, ensuring the information stored in the account is accurate and up to date, and for any activity as a result of the use of your log-in details.

9.1.4 You must take reasonable steps to prevent any unauthorised use of your account, as you will be responsible for any activity that occurs under, or as a result of access through, your log-in details. You must notify us immediately if your account or account information has been compromised at any time. You will be solely responsible for any losses incurred by those operating under the Moorlands Connect banner due to any unauthorised use of your account.

9.2 Telephone

9.2.1 Customers can also create an account over the phone by calling 01335 342951, a Moorlands Connect operative will take your name and contact information to initially set up the account.

9.2.2 If a journey is booked by phone, payment will be made by cash or card on boarding the vehicle.

10. Fares & Concessions

10.1 Moorlands Connect will charge a fare for the journey, unless otherwise specified, which will be detailed in the app at the time of booking, or verbally when making a booking by telephone.

10.2 All fares are non-refundable, except as detailed in Section 13, Refunds.

10.3 ENCTS Concessionary Passes are not valid for free journeys on this service.

10.4 Reduced fares are available upon presentation of a valid ENCTS Concessionary Pass to the driver on boarding for every journey. If a valid pass is not presented, full fare will be charged.

10.5 Options are available for “+1” tickets, where additional customers are booked to travel with the primary customers, and the primary customer will be charged a fare for the additional customers when they travel together.

11. Payments, Billing and Card Details

11.1 App

11.1.1 Fares will be shown through the app at the time of purchase and will be charged once you have completed your journey if buying a single or return ticket. Passengers buying weekly or monthly tickets will be charged at the time of purchase.

11.1.2 Fares may vary and are subject to change.

11.1.3 All fares are non-refundable, except as detailed in Section 13, Refunds.

11.1.4 Fares will be charged to the payment option stored on your account.

11.3 Receipts

11.3.1 For all users, a receipt will be sent to their specified e-mail address after each ride. This will specify ride details and costs.

12. Cancellation and No-Show Policy

12.1 Cancellations by us

12.1.1 Cancellations may occur due to reasons including, but not limited to, vehicle breakdowns, traffic and weather conditions. In the event that we cancel a trip before or during a journey, the passenger will not be charged. Any trip cancellations by Moorlands Connect will not register as “late” or “no-show” against any customer.

12.2 Lateness

12.2.1 DRT Services run on a real-time booking and dispatch system, therefore there is naturally a range of times that your trip may start and end based on factors including, but not limited to, other customer demand, traffic and routing.

12.2.2 The app will detail the range of times that your trip may start and end, however these are best estimates and are not guaranteed.

12.3 No-Show

12.3.1 A booking will be treated as a ‘no-show' by the driver if the customer has not arrived 1 minute after the end of the arrival window time. Riders will be texted a collection window of three minutes in advance of the bus arriving. This is in addition to live updates provided within the app.

12.3.2 Three 'no-show' records in a three-month window will result in the suspension of the customer's account for a minimum of 30 days from the date of the third 'no-show'.

13. Refunds

13.1 Single ticket and return ticket rides are not charged unless the journey is completed. Period tickets, i.e., weekly and monthly tickets, are non-refundable. Refunds are offered only in specific scenarios, namely:

13.1.1 Vehicle arrives to the destination 30 minutes or more after initial scheduled time of arrival at the destination.

13.1.2 Drop off location had to be updated and was more than 400m from original booked drop-off location.

13.1.3 In the event the customer was overcharged.

13.2 All applications for refunds need to be addressed to: enquiries@moorlandsconect.co.uk or by calling 01335 342951. We aim to review all cases within 10 working days.

13.3 All refund applications must relate to a journey within 3 months of the application date.

14. Communications & Marketing Policy

14.1 By registering to use the app, or creating an account, you agree that you have read and understood Moorlands Connect Privacy Policy, which is available through www.moorlandsconnect.co.uk

14.2 MC, ACT and Via may communicate with you by telephone call, text message, email, or through app-based messaging and notification posting a notice via the app to your mobile device. By registering, you also agree to receive this communication for customer service purposes. If you have agreed to receive details regarding other services and offers, or those supplied by third party providers, we will also contact you with information about these offers using these methods of communication.

14.3 We may send you an SMS text message to the telephone number you provide upon registering through the app. This may occur when you register initially through the app, upon booking a journey, as the vehicle on which you'd be travelling is approaching and arriving at the designated pick-up location, and when you reset your password. Text message and data charges may be applied by your network provider. Registering through the app is your consent to receive these SMS text messages.

14.4 Registering to use the app, setting up an account, and providing personal information is your consent that we may communicate with you electronically regarding security and administrative issues relating to your use of your account and the app. We will notify you of any potential security breaches, and you may request that we notify you of any security breaches in writing.

15. Our Responsibilities, Customer Behaviour and Conduct, and Conditions of Carriage

15.1 By purchasing a ticket or pass, making a journey reservation, or utilising the services of Moorlands Connect by any means, you enter into agreement with us.

15.2 These Conditions of Carriage apply whilst you are travelling on our vehicles and reflect our and your legal obligations.

15.3 We want to make your journey as comfortable and reliable as possible. To help us provide a pleasant environment for customers and staff, we require some behaviours and prohibit some other behaviours. Failure to comply may result in requests to leave the vehicle, travel being refused (either one-off or permanently), and involvement of the police. If any action is taken as a result of prohibited behaviours, we will not be liable for any inconvenience, injury, damage, loss or cost incurred or suffered as a result.

15.4 Required behaviours

Customers, and those travelling, are required to:

15.4.1 Comply with any request or instruction from any representative of the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation.

15.4.2 Behave in a lawful, sensible and reasonable manner whilst on the vehicle, at any pick-up or set down point and in any dealings with the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation.

15.4.3 Use mobile phones and other electronic devices in a considerate manner whilst on the vehicle.

15.4.4 Report any suspicious or dangerous items or behaviour, if safe to do so.

15.4.5 Advise staff immediately if an injury is sustained or any member of the travelling party becomes unwell during the journey.

15.4.6 Vacate the designated wheelchair space when it is needed by a wheelchair user or when requested to do so by any representative of the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation.

15.4.7 Take their rubbish with them when leaving the vehicle.

15.5 Prohibited behaviours

Customers, and those travelling, must not:

15.5.1 Board or alight the vehicle in any location other than bus stops, virtual bus stops, or safe locations at the discretion of the driver.

15.5.2 Stand in the vehicle whilst it is in motion.

15.5.3 Distract the driver whilst the vehicle is in motion, except in the event of an emergency.

15.5.4 Obstruct, or allow any property to obstruct any aisle, exit or emergency exit on the vehicle.

15.5.5 Assistance dogs must be allowed to travel free of charge at all times and cannot be refused boarding. Other dogs accompanying passengers should ordinarily be allowed to travel, subject to them being on a lead. Boarding may be refused if, in the reasonable opinion of the driver, the dog poses any potential risk to the driver or passengers. A fare may be charged for non-assistance dogs. Dogs are not allowed on the seats.

15.5.6 Wear unsuitable footwear whilst on the vehicle (including but not limited to roller skates, rollerblades, ice skates, football boots or studded footwear).

15.5.7 Behave in any way that is, or is perceived to be, threatening, abusive, or causes offence, discomfort, damage, injury, inconvenience or danger to other customers, our staff, or any property, or endangers themselves or others.

15.5.8 Obstruct or interfere with any driver, representative of the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation in the performance of their duties or fail to comply with their instructions.

15.5.9 Damage, misuse or interfere with any equipment or fittings on the vehicle.

15.5.10 Wear soiled or dirty clothing or put feet on seats.

15.5.11 Play any music, electronic devices or musical instruments that are audible or distracting to anyone else on the vehicle.

15.5.12 Smoke onboard any vehicle (including e-cigarettes).

15.5.13 Board any vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs (other than medicines).

15.5.14 Bring or consume on board any alcoholic drinks or drugs (other than medicines) or items of food (including hot or strong-smelling food) or drink that may cause a hazard or offence. Hot drinks may only be brought onto the vehicle if they are fitted with a lid to avoid spillages.

15.5.15 Commit a criminal offence or undertake any illegal or prohibited activity.

15.5.16 Distribute any material (including for charity), solicit or offer for sale any items, without prior written permission from the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation.

15.5.17 Bring any form of cycling vehicle (including but not limited to fold-up bikes, push bikes, unicycles) or e-scooter onto the vehicle. Bike racks are provided on the exterior of the vehicle for passengers to use, in accordance with the guidance above.

15.5.18 Board any vehicle whilst seriously unwell, or if suffering from any serious contagious disease (including COVID-19).

15.5.19 Film for any commercial or professional purpose onboard any vehicle, without prior consent. Filming for personal or private purposes is permitted provided that it does not cause offence or distress to anyone on the vehicle. If a driver or any other representative of the Company, Partner Operator or Organisation requests filming to cease, compliance with this is required.

15.6 Personal belongings and small items of luggage can be carried at the owner's risk and driver's discretion. Customers are responsible for the safe handling, and stowage of their items during the journey.

15.7 Larger items of luggage that cannot be safely stowed at your seat, or using luggage facilities available on the vehicle, are not permitted.

15.8 Hazardous or combustible materials, explosives, weapons or other items that may present a danger to anyone on the vehicle or the vehicle itself, are prohibited.

15.9 Paint and varnish products are not permitted to be carried on the vehicle.

15.10 CCTV may be in use on our vehicles recording images and sound for the purposes of safety, security and crime prevention, and this may be shared with the police or prosecuting authorities as evidence in legal processes. All CCTV systems are operated in accordance with the relevant legislation, including the Data Protection Act 1998.

15.11 We will not be liable to you as a result of any act or failing by any other customer on the vehicle. Customers will be liable to us and / or other customers for any injury, damage, loss or cost incurred or suffered as a result of their action, inactions or items brought onto the vehicle.

15.12 Events outside our control may cause us to alter or cancel some or all services. Whilst we will do our utmost to overcome delays and keep customers informed, we cannot be held liable for any inconvenience, injury, damage, loss or cost incurred or suffered as a result.

15.13 We are liable to you for any injury or damage as a result of our negligence.

15.14 The above conditions are governed by the laws in England and Wales, as deemed applicable. Any condition herein found subsequently to be invalid by a court or competent authority has no effect on the validity of any other condition. These conditions do not affect your legal rights.

16. Liabilities

16.1 We may be responsible for reasonable and predicted loss or damage if it is caused by us, our failure to comply with the terms we have set out, or our failure to apply reasonable care and attention. Loss or damage may be considered predictable if it is apparent that it may or could reasonably happen.

16.2 Our liability to you is not limited in any way, where it would be unlawful to do so, which includes, but is not limited to personal injury, death caused by our negligence.

16.3 The app is intended for private use, and we have no liability for its use beyond this. We may change any aspect of the app or service provision at any time, without notice or liability.

16.4 We are not responsible or liable for the actions of users when they use the app, nor the accuracy of information contained within.

16.5 We are not responsible for the actions of third parties in relation to the services we provide, or any disagreements you may have with third parties.

17. Disclaimer

17.1 You remain solely responsible for your actions when accessing and using the app and the contents that are available through the app.

17.2 Whilst we endeavour to ensure the reliability and accuracy of all content on the app, any reliance on third party content is at your own risk.

17.3 You must only use the app for its intended purpose, and in compliance with any applicable laws and legislation.

17.4 You must not

17.4.1 use the app for anything illegal or generate penalties or liabilities towards us.

17.4.2 plagiarise or try to damage the app or undermine its functions in any way, nor seek to steal or gain unauthorised access to any part of the app or its users' information.

17.4.3 link to app without permission.

17.4.4 upload false information, impersonate someone else, or misrepresent anyone or anything.

17.4.5 post any content or material, advertising or marketing, or store personal or sensitive information about any other person, or that violates another person's rights.

Revised March 2022