The Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC) is delighted to announce a significant breakthrough for coach tourism, as the European Council and the Parliament have reached a provisional agreement recognising the unique needs of coach tourism drivers. This monumental decision comes after the 2020 Mobility Package 1 negotiations, which primarily focused on goods transport, leaving coach tourism drivers with inadequate driving and rest time rules for their profession.
Welcoming this transformative development, Willie Martin, Chairperson of the CTTC, stated “This is a momentous victory for coach tourism in Europe. The agreement between the Council and the European Parliament acknowledges the distinct requirements of coach drivers, paving the way for rules that align with the nature of their work.”
The agreed driving and rest time rules for coach tourism drivers will empower them to:
Split their 45-minute breaks into two breaks of at least 15 minutes.
Postpone their daily rest period by one hour once per trip, provided the total accumulated driving time for that day does not exceed seven hours.
Undertake longer national tours of up to 12 days, a privilege previously reserved for international trips.
“Following years of advocacy, we have achieved one of the most important victories for coach tourism businesses. The EU has finally recognised the specificities of the passenger transport sector. Coach tourism drivers will now operate under rules tailored to their profession, rather than those intended for their truck-driving counterparts.”
Targeted and specific driving and rest time provisions will allow coach tourism drivers to better respond to their passengers’ schedules, while significantly reducing the stress generated by rules unfit for tourism.
Furthermore, a digital form is set to replace the traditional journey form following the completion of a European Commission study. This marks a significant step toward digitalisation and the creation of an operational platform based on the IMI (Internal Market Information) to upload digital control documents.
“We anticipate that the new rules will unleash the full potential of what we know is a more sustainable mode of transport for tourists visiting Ireland.”
“We now look ahead to the Council and the Parliament’s plenary for official endorsement of the deal, which we are optimistic will face no challenges. Following this the stage will be set for the full implementation and enforcement of these groundbreaking rules across EU member states” concluded Mr. Martin.