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Promoting the use of buses and coaches in cities and tourist destinations


27 Sep 2010



IRU calls for a harmonised EU framework for city traffic restrictions, amendment of LEZ schemes and postponement of restrictions on EURO III buses and coaches until 2015.

Brussels – Prior to the release on 28 September of a study commissioned by the EC on city traffic restrictions and the subsequent debate, the IRU repeats its call upon European policy decision makers to recognise the role and contribution of buses and coaches to green mobility, as emphasized during the consultation process.

IRU Vice-President and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Graham Smith, stressed: “There are today some 160 European cities with LEZs, some of them introducing traffic restrictions and limitations for collective passenger transport by bus and coach, including those equipped with EURO III engines, which was the best environmental deal only 5 years ago! Postponing traffic restrictions that affect some 80 000 EURO III coaches until 2015 in Europe would save the industry up to 2 billion Euros, which could be invested in even cleaner vehicles.”

This lack of a harmonised framework to support the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in the European Union results in the single market being increasingly fragmented, which entails inefficiencies and soaring costs for bus/coach/travel businesses and their customers, while adversely affecting sustainable mobility at local level as well as the entire tourism chain.

The IRU therefore requests the European Commission to table a harmonised EU framework that all major EU cities would apply when introducing LEZs or other similar traffic restrictions. Such a framework should also contain provisions and recommendations for consultation with the industry, as well as timely information to local and visiting operators.

As an immediate measure, the IRU advocates that European cities grant exemptions or postpone the entry into force of traffic restrictions for EURO III buses and coaches until 2015. Furthermore, existing LEZs schemes should be amended to reflect future common EU standards.

By restricting the use of buses and coaches, and particularly visiting touring coaches, uncoordinated city policies actually contribute to increased CO2 emission and traffic congestion, and limit the contribution of coach tourists to local and regional economies, whilst negatively impacting the fair and efficient functioning of the European travel and transport market.

Designing and implementing a bus and coach-friendly legal and administrative framework at EU level is instrumental in doubling the use of collective transport by bus and coach over the next decade and achieve sustainable mobility for all, as advocated by the Smart Move campaign. 

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Read IRU policy recommendations on city traffic restrictions

Press contact:  Juliette Ebélé

Phone: +41 22 918 27 07

Fax:  +41 22 918 27 07




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