The European Commission’s Mobility Package proposals provide an unmissable opportunity to properly address the specific needs of bus and coach operators and to unleash the benefits of boosting the sector.
Bus and coach services are delivered by people to people and should be subject to rules tailored to their specific needs.
Matthias Maedge, who leads IRU’s work in the EU, says: “With bus and coach services offering the potential to solve wide-ranging environmental and social challenges, IRU calls on the European Parliament and Council to introduce specific rules to ensure the sector serves people efficiently and contributes to making the European mobility system more sustainable.”
He continues, “The posting of drivers, road infrastructure charging, and driving and rest time rules are key areas, which require particular attention and specific tailored solutions for bus and coach businesses.”
With current posting of workers rules aimed primarily at the freight sector, IRU advocates the exemption of the vast majority of road passenger transport services, which correspond to fair and traditionally accepted travel practices.
In the second wave of the Mobility Package proposals, the Commission recognises the importance of bus and coach transport and its environmental and social benefits.
It estimates that a 1% increase in bus and coach transport will bring significant benefits for society in terms of reducing CO2 emissions, improving connectivity for disadvantaged social groups, increasing road safety and supporting employment.
Being part of the solution to congestion and cleaner transport, IRU stresses that buses and coaches should not be subject to external costs and congestion related taxes.
Coach tourism, which plays a vital role for local tourism industries, is dependent on holiday schedules and behaves very differently from all other road transport activities. Driving and rest time rules must therefore take into account the specific nature of the sector to allow it to develop and serve people efficiently.
More than 300,000 companies, many of them small businesses, directly employ over two million people, making the sector highly significant to the European economy and to the sustainable mobility of people. The industry supports millions more jobs indirectly, and provides services to multiple other industries.
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