CER welcomes progress Third Railway Package

Brussels, Belgium – The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) welcomes the
European Parliament’s second reading vote on the Third Railway Package reports. However some specific concerns remain and will have to be sorted out during the
conciliation procedure.

On the proposal for passenger rights, the Parliament’s adoption of the requirement for a special designated area for passenger equipment in all trains is a real practical concern.

Colin Hall, CER Deputy Executive Director, said "Railway companies already convey both bicycles and other passenger equipment on a wide range of train services. However, there are practical limits to this, either in train design or in the need to give priority to customers themselves at peak periods. In the interest of our customers, a more practical solution has to be found during the conciliation procedure.”

The implementation of this provision 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. This cannot be the intention of passenger rights legislation.

In principle, CER believes that the Regulation on passenger rights should not be extended to domestic traffic. Hall said: “Member States are best placed to manage their national transport needs in application of the subsidiarity principle. Moreover, one should not forget that the delay compensations benefits already enjoyed in EU-15 countries can not simply be extended to Central and Eastern European Countries.”

On the subject of ticket distribution, CER welcomes that the Parliament recognised the
need for commercial flexibility in a highly differentiated rail market. Cooperation
between railway undertakings has to develop according to commercial strategies led by
market demand.

CER is also pleased with the Parliament’s vote on the certification of train crews, which is an important step towards a functioning international railway market. The Parliament
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.