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IRU and UITP call for balanced and practicable rules on passenger rights in bus and coach transport


22 Mar 2010



The IRU and UITP support practical and balanced solutions that match passenger needs and operators’ economic imperatives in the debate on the future of passenger rights across the EU.

Prior to a series of pivotal Parliamentary discussions on the future rules on passenger rights in bus and coach transport in the EU, the IRU and UITP* call upon the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission to develop balanced and practical proposals for this important topic.

IRU and UITP support the pragmatic approach set out in the common position of the Council of Ministers, formally adopted on 11 March 2010. This common position offers a good solution by securing basic rights for all bus and coach passengers while giving Member States a clear role in determining appropriate local arrangements.

In particular, IRU and UITP:

-Support a proposal that would apply basic rights, as proposed by the Council, to all bus and coach services;

-Consider that serious practical, operational difficulties would remain in applying some articles of the proposed Regulation to urban, suburban and regional services, thus support the Council proposal to allow Member States to determine the application of these articles;

-Urge EU legislators to take into account the existing national legislation dealing with liability in the event of accidents;

-Call upon EU legislators to acknowledge the fact that buses and coaches operate on public roads and are dependent on traffic conditions, which should be considered for any compensation scheme in case of delays or cancellations.

IRU Vice-President, Graham Smith, explained, “The European bus and coach transport industry partly composed of small and medium-sized or even micro-companies supports an approach that offers workable and practical solutions to match the specific needs of passengers travelling with us, while taking into account the different operating characteristics of the sector and guaranteeing the economic viability of bus and coach operators.

Tony Depledge, President of the UITP EU Committee, concluded, “It is important to recognize urban, suburban and regional services as distinct and integrated sections of the public transport offer, where passengers can expect the same level of rights.”


The International Association of public Transport (UITP) is the international network for public transport authorities and operators, policy decision-makers, scientific institutes and the public transport supply and service industry. It is a platform for worldwide co-operation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,100 members from 90 countries. UITP is the global advocate for public transport and sustainable mobility, and the promoter of innovations in the sector.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU), through its national associations, represents the entire road transport industry world-wide. It speaks for the operators of coaches, taxis and trucks, from large transport fleets to driver-owners.

Press contacts:

-UITP, Sarah D’Angelo, + 32 2 663 66 39

-IRU, Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07,


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