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European Parliament votes in favour of impractical passenger rights rules


24 Apr 2009



The IRU appeals to the Council and the next European Parliament to rectify the unacceptable situation created by yesterday's vote by MEPs and to adopt practical and adapted rules on passenger rights in EU bus and coach transport services, based on a sound impact assessment.

Brussels – At one of its last plenary votes before the European elections this summer, the Members of the European Parliament voted (in first reading) in favour of impractical and unbalanced rules on passenger rights in EU bus and coach transport services.

The current proposal voted in the European Parliament completely fails to address the specificity of the bus and coach sector and does not strike a reasonable balance between the package of benefits that bus and coach passengers can reasonably expect and the economics of what can actually be provided.

IRU Vice President, Graham Smith, stated: “If Member States in the Council and the next European Parliament do not readjust the aim of these rules, there is a major risk that the supply of bus and coach services will be significantly affected. Indeed, if requirements are impractical and operators cannot afford to run the service, passenger rights are simply useless.”

Based on the principle of subsidiarity, all urban, suburban and regional transport services must be exempted from the scope of these rules, since these services are very specific, with no advance reservations, use of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly travel passes, many stops, different types of luggage, different passenger expectations, etc.

Moreover, the European bus, coach and travel industry calls for a thorough impact assessment of the overall cost implications resulting from the implementation of the proposed rules, in order to guarantee an informed debate before any decision is taken. Such an assessment should take into account: the liability regime in case of an accident; advance payments; assistance to be provided when required; upgrading of the fleet; provision of information in “accessible formats”; liability regime in case of delay or cancellation; and training of crew members.

See IRU Position on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport in the EU

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Press contact: Oleg Kamberski, +32 2 743 25 80,

Press Office

International Road Transport Union (IRU)

3, rue de Varembé / B.P. 44

CH-1211 Geneva 20


Tel: +41 22 918 27 07

Fax: + 41 22 918 27 41



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