Rail Passengers’ Rights - MEPs to discuss amendments on 25 April

23 April 2018
Train with EDF logo colours in background

Members of the European Parliament’s Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee will discuss amendments to the rail passengers’ rights regulation on Wednesday 25 April.

We are asking MEPs to seize this ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to ensure 80 million European citizens with disabilities have equal access to rail travel.

Time is up! All EU member states and the European Union have now ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). Lawmakers have a legal, and moral obligation to uphold the Convention and deliver equal access to transportation for persons with disabilities.

We are pleased that all our proposed amendments to the TRAN draft report have been tabled and we want to thank all MEPs who are fighting for equal access to rail transport.

The European disability movement will be listening to the debate on Wednesday - we hope to see strong support for citizens with disabilities from all parties.

You can watch the debate here on the 25th April

Our Priorities

Here is a summary of our priorities:

  • We want an end to pre-notification requirement for assistance. Persons with disabilities have a right to spontaneous travel. ‘Turn up and go’ should be the norm everywhere in Europe.

  • Booking assistance should always be free of charge

  • Many disabilities are invisible. Passengers with disabilities should be treated with dignity and respect; they should never be asked to ‘prove’ they have a disability.

  • Many persons with disabilities rely on rail transport to work, study or visit friends and relatives. The majority of rail services are urban, suburban and regional – it would be totally unacceptable for those rail services to be excluded from the scope of this regulation.

  • There should be no exemptions in the regulation for disability-related provisions

  • If ticketing machines are not accessible, passengers should be able to buy tickets on trains at no extra cost

  • Information, before and during travel, should be accessible

  • Re-routed and alternative transport services should be accessible

  • Contingency plans for large stations must include provisions for persons with disabilities

  • Assistance must be available at all times when trains are operating

  • Tickets should be offered to passengers via at least two points of sale, including a physical point of sale

  • All rail staff should undergo thorough disability-related training and Disabled Persons’ Organisations (DPOs) should be involved in such training

  • National Enforcement Bodies must be empowered to deal with individual passengers’ complaints and to conduct regular audits of assistance services in collaboration with DPOs.

  • The needs of service animals should always be taken into account.

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