230 new inter-regional coach routes have been authorised generating interest in several countries
FRANCE The French Transport Minister, Thierry Mariani, has authorised cabotage operations on 230 new inter-regional coach lines crossing France, within the framework of international journeys. The announcement was made on September 6.
The move will come as welcome news to many coach travel operators who provide routes through France. Traditionally, these were unable to collect passengers in French territory.
ORTF legislation dating back to December 2009 authorised cabotage along international coach lines, on the condition no more than 50% of passengers embarked in France.
Coach operators from Spain and Portugal are reported to be interested in capitalising on this development, while international operator Eurolines has welcomed the chance to expand its services.
President of Eurolines, John Gilbert said the news is “an excellent opportunity for Eurolines. As a result of the decision by the French ministry, we are already offering domestic travel within France.”
“It will also create more awareness of our wider international business. And with the opening up of the German market, travelling by coach across Europe is set to become even more appealing for passengers.”
Eurolines launched six new connections between Paris and western France in July this year, running them as international lines. For instance, a Rennes-Paris service would terminate in Prague.