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Intercity Bus and Coach Transport – The Future EU Mobility Hit


29 Feb 2012



The International Road Transport Union (IRU) reaffirmed its commitment and leadership to drive the efforts of private and public partners, including European institutions, to make the greenest, safest and most affordable travel option – intercity bus and coach transport - the European mobility hit of the decade.

Brussels – At the first of its kind Europe-wide workshop on “Long distance bus and coach transport in Europe: (Re)discovering the wheel”, the IRU asserted its firm intention to spearhead the efforts of public and private partners to ensure the steady growth of intercity bus and coach travel, today mostly run by private companies, with the objective to double its use in Europe in the years to come, as advocated by the Smart Move campaign.

Opening the workshop with a video message, French Minister of Transport, Thierry Mariani, stated: “Bus and coach transport…still has a tremendous potential. It offers transport solutions at unbeatable prices and a well-known flexibility. It is also the preferred mode of transport of a whole range of the population. Bus and coach have a beautiful future ahead, even in the 21st century.”

“Empirical evidence shows that of all transport modes, European intercity bus and coach transport has the strongest potential for green mobility growth which can be achieved without massive public subsidies.  The IRU and its Member Associations intend to take the lead in mobilising the efforts of all interested policy and business stakeholders, so that long distance bus and coach transport is recognised and supported by all as the optimal mobility and travel choice” added Yves Mannaerts, President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council.

The IRU also welcomed the support expressed by the European Commission and a number of MEPs to create a European public-private Strategic Reflection Group, to jointly work out policy recommendations and establish an EU Action Plan and calendar to achieve the objective of doubling the use of European collective passenger road transport in the next 10 to 15 years.

Among the main industry recommendations to achieve this objective are:

o   End fiscal discrimination between collective passenger transport modes;

o   Always consider in legislation the specific needs of passenger transport;

o   Increase maximum weight for international traffic coaches to at least 19.5 tonnes to meet new safety, environmental, customer and operational conditions;

o   Eliminate barriers related to accessing terminals of other modes;

o   Include bus and coach terminals in the trans-European transport (TENs) network;

o   Increase and facilitate the number of and access to dedicated bus lanes in and between cities; systematically put measures into place that decrease travel time and, consequently, make their services more competitive;

o   Propose a harmonised EU framework for low emission zones (LEZs).

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Speeches and presentations of the workshop

Industry recommendations to double the use of collective passenger road transport

IRU Communications

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



The IRU, through its 170 member associations in 73 countries, represents and promotes the entire road transport industry in all international and national bodies whose decisions affect road transport.