Monday 17 January 2022

Coach companies plan to defy corona limits on passenger numbers

Photo: Sludge G via Flickr

Private coach operators are planning to ignore passenger limits imposed under the coronavirus restrictions because they fear going out of business.

Johan Pouw, of Vianen-based Pouw Vervoer, said 90% of the industry had signed up to a plan to transport a maximum of 30 people, rather than the current limit of between 12 and 25.

‘We’re talking about 200 or so family businesses who are all more or less in the same position,’ Pouw told Hart van Nederland.

The industry says the rules are unfair because passengers are allowed in denser numbers on other forms of public transport, such as trains. In particular, coaches that replace train services are allowed to carry 30 passengers. ‘That’s strange: surely a bus is a bus,’ said Pouw.

Coaches will continue to implement the 1.5 metre social distancing rule, but realistically this is not always possible, he said. All passengers have to wear face masks and sign a health declaration before boarding.

Pouw said coach operators were prepared to run the risk of a fine rather than lose their business. ‘We’re doing something that’s not allowed. But in a coach you’re very visible. We’re starting now because businesses are already having real problems.’

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