CER on TRAN Committee vote of Third Railway Package
Progress on the Third Railway Package, but some of the railways’ concerns remain
The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) is
pleased to see progress on practicality issues in the vote of the European
Parliament’s Transport Committee on the Third Railway Package Reports.
However, the provision on multifunctional compartments in the passenger rights
Regulation, as voted today, is definitely unworkable for the railways. There are
other legal details on liabilities that still need to be resolved.
CER welcomes the unanimous vote on the certification of train crews, which is a
very important step towards a functioning international railway market. Even if
CER considers the extension of the scope beyond the train drivers to other onboard
staff as unnecessary, the Parliamentarians demonstrated clear will towards
market opening and against protectionist measures by limiting the requirements
for the experience of train drivers to a purely safety related level.
On the text on liberalisation of the passenger market, CER is very surprised by the
Committee’s support for a so-called levy. This levy would risk open access
passenger services being surcharged to help fund other rail public service
obligations. It is hard to see how this further financial burden will help the
objective of market opening.
On the proposal for passenger rights, the Committee’s adoption of the
requirement for multi-functional compartments in all trains is a real practical
concern. This would inevitably lead to the situation that a substantial part of
rolling stock in the European Union would not be in line with European law.
Colin Hall, CER Deputy Executive Director, said "Railway companies already
convey both bicycles and other passenger equipment on a wide range of train
services, either in separate accommodation or in common space open to all
passengers. However there are practical limits to this, either in train design or in
the priority to fare paying customers themselves at peak
periods. Parliamentarians must know that the amendment mandating such
separate compartments in all trains is simply not feasible. An alternative
practical solution has to be found.”