The IRU Passenger Transport Council (CTP) adopted a blueprint for a multilateral agreement on regular bus and coach lines, which will be submitted to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in October 2008.
CTP President, Graham Smith, said: “The multilateral agreement we will be proposing in cooperation with our public partners from the various UNECE member countries, will considerably facilitate the operation of regular bus and coach lines in Europe by creating a harmonised legal framework, standardised control documents and, ultimately, common enforcement procedures throughout Europe. This will improve the quality of service we are offering to our customers”
The Europe-wide network of over 3000 international regular services by coach and bus today offers a flexible, reliable, green and safe service at affordable prices. However, despite the continued liberalisation process of passenger transport and travel services in Europe, obtaining an authorisation for international regular services remains complicated due to the current set of bilateral agreements, which regulate regular bus and coach lines in Europe. Moreover, the administrative requirements attached to the application procedure are still excessive in many countries.
The multilateral agreement, based on the IRU’s blueprint, as a priority must:
harmonise the forms required for authorisations and application and granting procedures;
shorten consultation periods for issuing authorisations;
harmonise the duration of bilateral and transit authorisations;
grant international regular bus and coach services a priority treatment at borders;
ensure travel document controls remain the responsibility of the authorities.