Irish drop threat
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THREATS of physical action against British coach operators by some Irish operators have been withdrawn following a meeting between the Irish Tourist Board and the Coach Tourist Council of Ireland.
The Council of Ireland, which is affiliated to the Private Association of Motor Bus Owners (Pambo) had threatened "physical action" because of the unfair costs which Irish operators suffer in comparison to UK operators (CM, March 2).
But the council's action committee chairman, Paddy Barry, told CM: "The situation has been defused. It is more or less certain that there will be a successful outcome to allow Irish operators to compete with our colleagues and friends across the water."
Mr Barry also stressed that the phrase "physical action" had been a regretable one. It had not meant to be alarming. The idea had been to block in a couple of UK coaches with Irish ones, and explain to the driver the problem, he said.
The council has met the Irish Tourist Board, and it has a "categoric reassurance" from the board's director general that he will be working for a solution, said Mr Barry.
Irish Government imposition of excise duties and taxes, plus currency exchange differences means that the operating cost for Irish coach operators can be up to 50 per cent more expensive than those of British coach operators in Ireland, he said.
Now it is hoped that a grant aid scheme will be provided to cover the problem of duty and vat on coach purchase for the Irish operator.