Access to the international market for coach and bus services

01-02-2018

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above mentioned proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. Bus and coach transport is an economical, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that can contribute to reducing emissions and to improving accessibility for citizens with low income or living in isolated and low population density regions with no rail services (IA, p. 4). The current legal framework that lays down the rules applicable to access to the international market for coach and bus services is Regulation (EC) 1073/2009. This regulation simplified and developed conditions for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus across the European Union. Provisions of the regulation apply to regular service, special regular service and occasional service. Furthermore, the regulation applies to cabotage operations and also occasionally to own-account transport. The regulation aimed at the completion of the internal market for coach and bus services and at increasing the efficiency and competitiveness to generate a shift in the use of private passenger cars to coach and bus services. However, the evaluation outcomes suggest that the sector has failed to compete effectively with other modes of transport, in particular the private car, as a means of making longer distance journeys, and there are various challenges to the present system that limit harmonisation in this particular field. In this context, the European Parliament pointed in its 2017 resolution to a need to ensure, among other things, the completion and improved operation of the internal market for the transport by road of passengers and freight. The Commission promised to take actions allowing further development of domestic bus and coach services in the 2016 European strategy for low-emission mobility and confirmed its plans to review the EU rules on buses and coaches in the 2017 communication Europe on the move. It included the revision of Regulation (EC) 1073/2009 in its 2017 work programme (CWP) under the regulatory fitness (REFIT) initiatives, following up on an evaluation, which was concluded in 2017 with the publication of the ex-post evaluation report.

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above mentioned proposal, submitted on 8 November 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism. Bus and coach transport is an economical, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that can contribute to reducing emissions and to improving accessibility for citizens with low income or living in isolated and low population density regions with no rail services (IA, p. 4). The current legal framework that lays down the rules applicable to access to the international market for coach and bus services is Regulation (EC) 1073/2009. This regulation simplified and developed conditions for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus across the European Union. Provisions of the regulation apply to regular service, special regular service and occasional service. Furthermore, the regulation applies to cabotage operations and also occasionally to own-account transport. The regulation aimed at the completion of the internal market for coach and bus services and at increasing the efficiency and competitiveness to generate a shift in the use of private passenger cars to coach and bus services. However, the evaluation outcomes suggest that the sector has failed to compete effectively with other modes of transport, in particular the private car, as a means of making longer distance journeys, and there are various challenges to the present system that limit harmonisation in this particular field. In this context, the European Parliament pointed in its 2017 resolution to a need to ensure, among other things, the completion and improved operation of the internal market for the transport by road of passengers and freight. The Commission promised to take actions allowing further development of domestic bus and coach services in the 2016 European strategy for low-emission mobility and confirmed its plans to review the EU rules on buses and coaches in the 2017 communication Europe on the move. It included the revision of Regulation (EC) 1073/2009 in its 2017 work programme (CWP) under the regulatory fitness (REFIT) initiatives, following up on an evaluation, which was concluded in 2017 with the publication of the ex-post evaluation report.