Rail Passengers' Rights: Parliament's Transport Committee wants to strengthen rules for assistance at stations

7 November 2018

It's not quite "Turn-up-and-go" everywhere yet, as EDF demanded in its campaign for Rail Passengers' Rights this summer, but we are getting closer. Following the vote in the European Parliament's Transport Committee (TRAN) on 9 October, EDF is taking stock of the changes that have been proposed to the Commission's proposal of last year:

All in all there were quite some good improvements to the text. One "unexpected win” was that the European Parliament's Transport Committee suggests that persons with disabilities should be allowed to travel with an accompanying person free of charge if no independent access is possible, which was not part of the Commission proposal. We also managed to secure “turn-up-and-go” assistance for big stations (more than 10 000 passengers/day). EDF’s proposed amendments were all taken onboard except those mentioned below.

The most negative points are:

  • Pre-notification for assistance is still required for small stations (12 hours) and medium stations (3 hours);
  • To buy tickets, it is still not obligatory to sell tickets on board the train in case the ticket machine is not accessible. Having any other sales channel such as a mobile app or website is enough, even though this is not always accessible either;
  • In case of rail replacement services, the railway undertakings are still not obliged to provide accessible alternative transport. As you know, the buses that are provided in case of disruption or construction works are often not accessible;
  • The requirement on staff training is still weak. No curriculum was added as Annex to the Regulation, it remains very vague and disabled persons’ organisations (DPOs) don’t have to be involved in providing the training.

The official text of the TRAN Committee report is published on the website of the Committee. Once it is adopted in Plenary - next week - we will focus on the EU Council's text.

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