New flexible rules for tourist bus drivers

29.01.2024 19:27

New flexible rules for tourist bus drivers

White bus crossing the alpes

Tonight, the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Commission successfully concluded negotiations on the revised rules on driving times and rest periods for occasional bus and coach services. The agreement introduces flexibility to improve the experience of drivers and passengers while maintaining road safety standards.

"Transporting people is different from transporting goods. Occasional tourist trips are characterised by seasonality and changing circumstances. We are now introducing some flexibility into the driving and resting time rules so that they better serve the needs of both the drivers and the passengers and ensure fair competition and safety for all,” says Henna Virkkunen MEP, the Parliament’s lead negotiator on the new rules.

For the EPP Group, it was especially important to adapt the rules to the specific demands of occasional passenger services. In particular, Virkkunen welcomes the splitting of the mandatory 45-minute break into two flexible breaks of at least 15 minutes. Another improvement is the possibility of postponing the weekly rest period for up to 12 days on national journeys, which is currently only possible on international journeys. The EPP Group supported this change, as it contributes to the proper functioning of the single market and fair competition.

Furthermore, the new law underscores the critical need for digitalisation to tackle sector challenges and enhance journey monitoring. "Today’s deal is a step towards a well-balanced regulatory framework, which prioritises the unique needs of occasional bus and coach services, as well as safety and fair competition, embracing the transformative power of digitalisation," Virkkunen concludes.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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