Chapter 5: Long-distance coach services in Europe
While high-speed rail or airlines attract a lot of political and media attention, long-distance coach services tend to be much less visible. The coaching business also differs from the air and rail modes in that it mainly uses infrastructure that is already available for the general public (highways and motorways), requiring only smaller investments in suitable coach stations at attractive places in urban centres. Yet, long-distance(or ‘express’)coaches account for a substantial part of the mobility of Europe’s less wealthy citizens, especially in those countries that have appropriately (de)regulated this activity. Few international studies have been published on this topic. The report from the 114th Round Table organized by the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) in 1999 (ECMT, 2001) was one such study, covering Britain, Poland, Sweden and the Euro lines organization. European National studies on the topic are scarce too, except perhaps in Britain, Sweden and Norway – three countries with a well-functioning deregulated coach market.
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