The International Road Transport Union (IRU) today proposed to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) a blueprint for the creation of a multilateral agreement on regular bus and coach lines (OmniBUS).
The President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Graham Smith, said, “The multilateral agreement proposed to the UN today, in cooperation with our public partners from various UNECE member countries, will considerably facilitate the operation of regular bus and coach lines in Europe and improve the quality of service we are offering to our customers, by creating a harmonised legal framework, standardised control documents and, ultimately, common enforcement procedures throughout the UNECE region.”
Today in Europe alone, a large network of over 3000 international regular services by bus and coach offer green, safe and reliable transport at affordable prices. However, the current set of bilateral agreements that regulate international regular bus and coach regular lines make obtaining an authorisation to perform international regular service very complicated despite the continued liberalisation process of passenger transport and travel services. Moreover, the administrative requirements for application procedures remain excessive in many countries.
The proposed multilateral agreement will address in priority the following issues:
- Harmonisation of the different types of authorisations required, application and granting procedures;
- reduced consultation periods for issuing authorisations;
- harmonised duration of bilateral and transit authorisations;
- priority treatment granted to international regular bus and coach services at borders;
- travel document controls, which should remain the responsibility of the authorities.
This proposed agreement is the first concrete political step of the Smart Move awareness and advocacy campaign, launched last week during Busworld Europe in Kortrijk, with the objective to double the use of bus and coach transport in Europe and beyond in order to help meet ambitious environmental and road safety targets and ultimately achieve sustainable mobility for all.