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 Idea for Summer Alps

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nollaig
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PostSubject: Summer Alps    Tue 18 Jan 2011, 11:07 pm

What is the legal definition of a minibus?
A minibus is a classed as a vehicle with between eight to sixteen passenger seats. A vehicle with over sixteen passenger seats is classed as a coach. Note that manufacturers normally quote the total number of seats including the driver. So they quote and class minibuses as 9 to 17 seats. e.g 17 seater ford transit minibus has 16 passenger seats.

Who can drive a minibus?
The driving entitlement for a minibus is now referred to as a D1 licence.

If you hold a driving licence issued prior to 1st January 1997, permitting you to drive Group A (or B for automatic) vehicles, you can drive minibuses in the UK but not in mainland Europe, provided you are over 21 years of age. (On new style licences the corresponding categories which allow the entitlement to drive mini-buses are listed as B and D1). i.e your licence will show a group A (B for automatics) on an old style green or pink licence or as category B and D1 (not for hire or reward) on a pink and green photocard licence. That being said, driving of the mini-bus must not be for hire or financial reward and the mini-bus must have no more than 17 seats, including that of the driver.

Drivers who passed their test after 1st January 1997 are not given this category and are now required to pass PCV minibus theory, medical and practical tests to obtain a D1 licence. In these circumstances however, you may drive a minibus with up to 16 seats only in the UK provided that you will be driving on behalf of a non-commercial body for social purposes, but not for hire or reward unless under a permit. You will also need to be over 21 years of age and have held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years. The services you are providing must be on a voluntary basis and the minibus maximum weight must be no more than 3.5 tonnes (3500 kg) excluding any special equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers (4250kg). Drivers aged 70 and over will also need to meet the health standards for driving a vehicle (i.e. minibus) which comes with the D1 class. If you are driving for hire and reward under a Section 19 permit and you are being paid , you can only do so if you have passed a further test to obtain Category D1 L





Last edited by nollaig on Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:15 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Paul Heff
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PostSubject: Re: Idea for Summer Alps   Tue 18 Jan 2011, 11:10 pm

Well done Michael,

Soca sounds good!!

Is a minibus licence required if you are NOT carrying fee paying passengers??
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micheal mc sweeney
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PostSubject: Re: Idea for Summer Alps   Wed 19 Jan 2011, 11:51 am

Just an idea....
If you decide to go to Slovenia.
If a group of about 10 is traveling. (Big enough group to get together.)
Everyone fly into Treviso. Hire a few cars. (Ask Ray Ryan about roof racks.)
Hire boats from Alpine Action. Contact them well in advance to book boats. http://www.sloveniarafting.si/en/Home.aspx
You will also get good reliable river information and info on river permits from Alpine Action.
There is also another few Kayak shops in the area, so shop around in advance. Google Kayak Hire in Bovec (town) or Soca (river)
Stay on the river side camp site ( I think its called Tonys Campsite or book an apartment.)
Eat out every night, the food is great but cheap.
You will probably find that a week to ten days is plenty.
Maybe visit Venice on the way back to the airport.

If you decide to go to the French Alps.
Unless you have a very big group or your own mini bus (use it as a van with boats and gear inside, forget the trailer), do the fly/drive option with the van.
A minibus and trailer will be more expensive on the ferry and on the motorway. Lots of the driving is on small winding mountain roads, not the best with a minibus and trailer and you will still need a second car for shuttles.
The main paddling campsite is at the L'Argentier Slalmon Course, but it can be pretty busy at times. Sean Mc stayed at a campsite on the edge of Briancon which seemed quite nice.
Worth remembering as well if you wait until July or August to go, you'll be ino the French holiday season and campsites and the like will get pretty busy.
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nollaig
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PostSubject: Summer Alps    Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:10 pm

Slovenia sounda way better .


Last edited by nollaig on Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:22 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Idea for Summer Alps   Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:18 pm

Well Done Micheal , cheers cheers cheers

Comprehensive roundup of all possible scenarios.It would suit all, if a rental Mini Bus ,was waiting at Cherbourg.Or Le Havre or Celtic ferries disembarkation

We could have the Trailer put on board with all equipment .The Shipping Line Tug regularly undertakes this work.

I will check laws in France re CPC laws .But a second driver with the appropriate licence is needed.

Then again why not fly to Trevino and head for the Soca driving in France (YUK) ....................
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PostSubject: Re: Idea for Summer Alps   Wed 19 Jan 2011, 8:24 pm

You only need a CPC if you're being paid for the driving you do, otherwise once you have the correct class of licence you're good to go. This is the case is Ireland, and I understood the CPC was as a result of some european directive or other, or was it just our government hiding behind the EU again?

Previously a group of us went over as foot passengers and rented cars and a van in France, in Morlaix I think. that worked out well too.

Just plan the dates, everything else will fall into place. Don't worry too much about meeting groups out there, there's heaps of other paddlers about.
If people are nervous about the French alps, a trip to Slovenia does seem to work out as a good first trip abroad to cut your teeth for foreign paddling.

If you can't go until much later in the summer then Switzerland and/or Austria is a good bet, water in my experience has been bigger though.


Apologies for the lack of offer to help on this trip but at this stage it doesn't look like I'll be heading to France this year.

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