Ahead of the critical vote in the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, the European tourism sector calls on MEPs to support the driving and rest time rules for coach drivers proposed by the Commission and Transport Committee’s lead rapporteur.
In May 2023, over three years since the adoption of the EU's Mobility Package 1, the European Commission recognised that the current coach driver rules are not suited to the occasional passenger transport sector and submitted a promising proposal.
The Commission’s proposal has since been improved by the European Parliament’s Committee for Transport and Tourism’s (TRAN’s) lead rapporteur on driving and rest time rules for coach drivers.
In a letter sent today, IRU, ETOA and ECTAA urged TRAN Committee members to mobilise behind the lead rapporteur and bring about an impactful change for the coach tourism sector, especially for drivers.
IRU Director of EU Advocacy Raluca Marian said, “The Commission finally acknowledged earlier this year that the current coach driver rules are not suited for the occasional passenger transport sector. It’s now time for the Parliament’s Transport Committee to follow suit.
“By complementing the Commission’s proposal with the necessary amendments, we can improve coach drivers’ working conditions and reduce the unnecessary stress they’re exposed to every day.”
“Subjecting coach drivers to rules meant for truck drivers is holding back Europe’s tourism sector, undermining the safest and most environmentally friendly form of collective passenger transport,” she added.
Coach tourism drivers tailor their journeys according to the pace of their passengers. This means more breaks and stops along the way, and a combination of longer trips (at the start and end of long-distance tours) and shorter trips (during tours), with an average driving time of around 4.5 to 5 hours per day.
“There is no time to waste. The coach driver file needs to be finalised this year, allowing for the institutional negotiations to be completed and the law going into effect. Coach drivers deserve rules designed for their work, not that of their truck driver colleagues,” concluded Raluca Marian.
The Transport Committee, the file’s lead committee, will vote on its report on 16 November, before the vote in the Parliament’s plenary in December.