Your opinion is needed.

SW – 12/2021

The EC has launched a public consultation on "EU rules covering driving times and rest periods for bus and coach drivers during non-scheduled services".

The aim of the consultation is to gather feedback about revising the driving time and rest period rules as laid down in Regulation (EU) No. 561/2006 for harmonising specific social legislation relating to road transport and amending Council Regulations (EU) No. 3821/85 and (EU) No. 2135/98 and repealing Council Regulation (EU) No. 3820/85.

Under current EU rules, professional drivers involved in non-scheduled services for carrying passengers by coach and bus are subject to the same rules covering the organisation of working time, driving time, breaks and rest periods as lorry drivers involved in transporting freight. The EC intends to evaluate the existing rules and, where appropriate, propose measures to meet the specific needs of the sector.

Regulation (EU) No. 561/2006 has already been revised as part of the so-called "Mobility Package I", which covered various new regulations covering the assigning of workers and professional drivers, market and occupational access as well as the social regulations. However, the amendments mainly focused on road haulage issues.

In January 2021 the EC presented a so-called "impact assessment in the initial phase". Accordingly, the initiative aims to ensure an adequate working and business environment for the bus and coach sector and to contribute to the recovery of bus and coach business. The majority of the companies are small and medium-sized companies and micro-businesses that were particularly affected by the COVID 19 crisis.

Various policy options have been identified with regard to driving times and rest periods in order to achieve the objectives. In addition to maintaining the existing uniform rules on driving times and rest periods for transporting goods and passengers, the following deviations from the existing rules have been identified as options for bus and coach drivers engaged in non-scheduled domestic and international services:


  1. limited postponement of the weekly rest period
  2. flexible break allocations over daily driving periods and arrangements for daily rest periods
  3. flexible break allocations over daily driving periods and adaptable arrangements for daily and weekly rest periods

Through this consultation, the EC seeks views and experiences on the current regulations in relation to working conditions, driver stress and fatigue, compliance and regulatory costs as well as their role in addressing the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic, and for assessing the advantages and disadvantages of possible change options.

Interested parties have until February 15, 2022 to respond to the consultation. As things stand, the Commission plans to present the initiative in the fourth quarter of 2022. Further information and the consultation questionnaire can be found at the following link.