The Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland has welcomed the result of a vote in the European Parliament’s plenary on compromise amendments on driving and rest time rules for coach tourism drivers, a proposal previously endorsed by the Parliament’s Transport Committee in the preceding month.
The positive outcome of this vote positions coach tourism drivers, passengers, and operators for favorable results during the impending trilogue negotiations scheduled for January 2024. This marks a significant step towards establishing tailored rules for coach drivers, aligning regulations with the unique demands of their profession.
Welcoming the result, Willie Martin, Chairperson of the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland said “The adoption of these compromise amendments is a crucial milestone for the coach tourism industry. Finally, we are on the path to providing coach drivers with rules designed specifically for their profession. This achievement sets the stage for constructive trilogue negotiations in January 2024, fostering a regulatory environment that prioritises the well-being of drivers, the efficiency of operations, and the safety of passengers.”
According to the proposed amendments endorsed by the European Parliament’s plenary, coach tourism drivers will now have the flexibility to split their 45-minute breaks into two intervals of at least 15 minutes. Additionally, on journeys lasting six days or more, drivers can, once per trip, extend their trip for an additional hour and recover their break afterward. This provision also allows for longer national tours of up to 12 days, a feature previously limited to international trips.
“The revisions reflect a thoughtful approach to the specific needs of coach drivers, offering a more flexible framework that enhances their well-being and ultimately benefits the entire tourism sector. We anticipate the upcoming negotiations in the Council to swiftly pave the way for implementing these changes, allowing coach tourism drivers the autonomy to organise their breaks in line with their work and passenger requirements.” Mr. Martin concluded.
The CTTC has worked with colleagues throughout Europe over the past number of months including The International Road Transport Union (IRU) on these important proposals.
For further information on the file and details regarding the position adopted by the European Parliament’s Transport Committee, the file’s lead committee, please visit this link