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RDA political lobbying on members behalf

The RDA acts in both the public and political spheres as an opinion-forming multiplier for the coach tourism sector. It helps to promote and assert coach tourism interests at national and at European levels and to dismantle barriers to free and fair competition.

RDA lobbying successes

Coach drivers hours

The way to a branch-friendly solution to this burning issue was opened after the Transport Committee of the European Parliament voted with a large majority end-March 2009 in favour of a modified reintroduction of the so-called 12-day rule regulating coach drivers hours and after pre-conditions had been presented to the European Council of Ministers.

The amendment to regulations governing coach drivers hours in April 2007 led to an intolerable situation for the coach tourism sector. This decision as such was considered to be irreversible. The RDA took up the struggle to effect a revision: at national and European levels, in the European Parliament and in the European Commission and Council of Transport Ministers. The federation was unceasing in its efforts to achieve a satisfactory solution for coach drivers, coach companies and last but not least for coach holiday customers themselves.

The European Parliament passed the Road Traffic Package after its second reading on 23rd April 2009. Among its contents was a European Parliament and European Council directive on common rules for cross-border passenger traffic market access which also contains the 12-day rule in its 29th article.

European Parliament and the European Council ratification has to be published in an Official Gazette. This is expected to occur in October 2009. The new regulation will come into effect two weeks after publication and will subsequently apply in all EU states six months later on.

On the path to fair taxation

Coach holiday travel is still disadvantaged by legislation despite its proven environment and climate friendliness: driving bans in German cities in environment protection zones counter the activities of many politicians engaged in the "Pro Bus" initiative. The German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, for example, lent his support to a joint RDA / gbk initiative "The Environment Minister recommends: travel by coach!". Even the European Parliament made a breakthrough with its "Yes" vote to the inclusion of air traffic in the emissions trade, breaking the taboo of tax exemption for airlines. Successful RDA lobby work in Brussels has contributed to these important decisions which can lead the way to fairer taxation of coach transport. Coach travel in Germany, for instance, still has to bear the full burden of mineral oil and eco-taxation.

The RDA demands: revenue generated by the emissions trade must be allocated to climate-friendly coach and rail transport. In addition: free access for coaches in environment protection zones.

Additional RDA lobby work demands

  • Rectification of fiscal discrimination of coach transport vis-à-vis rail and air.
  • Abolition or at least a reduction of eco-taxation for coach travel – the most environment and climate friendly mode of holiday transport.
  • VAT reduction for passenger transport to create fairer competition for German coach companies vis-à-vis their European colleagues.
  • Freeing new coaches from vehicular taxation to support coach operators in their climate-friendly investments and to strengthen the coach industry – which is an integral part of the greater car manufacturing industry.
  • Retention of toll freedom for holiday coaches due to its lesser road space requirements relative to the number of persons conveyed, to the smaller environmental costs and to the slight number of road accidents involving coaches.
  • Correction to the Federal German Transport Plan to incorporate a higher prioritisation of long-distance roads and motorway construction.

Dieter Gauf 
Phone: +49 221 91 27 72 0
Fax: +49 221 91 27 72 27