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Business-friendly policies to boost safe and green coach tourism and travel in Europe


16 Oct 2009



The European travel and coach travel industry calls upon politicians to place business-friendliness at the heart of EU transport policy if they are to meet ambitious targets in efficient and environmentally friendly mobility for all.

Kortrijk – The 6th European Bus and Coach Forum on “Boosting European Coach Tourism & Travel through Business-friendly rules”, attended by some 200 coach and travel policy and business European leaders, today confirmed that business-friendly policies implemented at local, national and EU level, are key to meet the ambitious objectives of the European Transport Policy for 2010-2020.

Jointly organised by the IRU, ECTAA, ETOA and FBAA, in the framework of Busworld Europe Kortrijk, the Forum focused on two pressing issues for the European coach travel industry:

the rather chaotic introduction of access restrictions for coaches in many European cities, despite coaches being among the safest and greenest means of transport and travel, as well as the huge economic losses they imply for travel and tourism industries, customers and local citizens alike;

the ongoing debate on passenger rights in long distance coach transport in Europe, which should imperatively recognise the specificity of such transport operations in any future EU legislation, as requested by the coach industry.

IRU Vice President and CEO of Heyfordian Travel (UK), Graham Smith, said, “On the eve of a major debate on the future EU transport policy up to 2020, the united European travel industry wants to send a clear and united signal to policy makers at local, national and European level. We say to them: Buses and coaches can be part of the solution to any mobility or travel challenge that citizens and politicians may face today or in the future at all levels, but rules and regulations must enable the sector to do so.”

Best practices to be emulated throughout Europe notably include the green-minded and well-planned policy of facilitating and giving priority to coach tourism implemented by the city of Stockholm, which won it the IRU City trophy 2009, as well as Flygbussarna’s innovative policy and successful awareness campaign to promote a wider use of bus and coach services, rewarded with the IRU Special Company Award.

All bus and coach professionals and stakeholders willing to contribute to safe and green mobility were encouraged to make the Smart Move by promoting a greater use of collective transport by bus and coach and advocate its intrinsic qualities of safety, environmentally-friendliness, efficiency, affordability and user-friendliness.

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See the highlights of the 6th European Bus and Coach Forum

IRU White Paper on the future of commercial road transport in Europe

Facts and figures about bus and coach transport in Europe EN ¦ FR ¦ DE

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