Regulation 181/2011 concerning the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport completes the set of regulations covering passengers’ rights in all transport modes. It entered into force in 2013 and also includes provisions on accessibility for persons with disabilities. Similar to the air- and rail passengers’ rights Regulations it obliges operators to provide assistance.

However, one major shortcoming is that it only concerns cross-border services and certain domestic services above 250 km, thereby excluding many local and regional services which should also be made accessible. EDF is continuing its advocacy work for future improvement of these aspects and is actively monitoring the implementation with help of its members.

Concerning the accessibility of the vehicles, Regulation 661/2009 concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor lays down technical requirements for buses with more than 22 seats. Technical details are set out in UN Regulation No. 107 "Uniform provisions concerning the approval of category M2 or M3 vehicles with regard to their general construction". This UN Regulation is referenced in Annex IV of Regulation 661/2009 is obligatory to be applied in the EU. The requirements contained in this UN Regulation are similar to those enshrined in the repealed Directive 2001/85/EC, but are more elaborated and updated. 

The requirements for technical devices facilitating access for passengers with reduced mobility as previously contained in Annex VII to the repealed Directive 2001/85/EC are now included in Annex 8 "Accommodation and accessibility for passengers with reduced mobility" to UN Regulation No 107.

Another important EU initiative to facilitate travelling for persons with disabilities is the EU Parking Card (Blue Badge) which was introduced in 2000 by a Recommendation of the Council of the European Union. This Parking Card allows persons with disabilities to park on disabled parking spaces anywhere in the EU if they display the card in their car. Even though recognized throughout the EU, the national authorities are still responsible for issuing the Card in each Member State.


More information

Website of the European Commission on road passengers' rights