60.000 people demand from the EU: make train travel work for persons with disabilities!

Pre-notification for assistance must go.

“I don’t always know 2 days in advance I will need to travel. Why should anybody else know?”

“I have been in a wheelchair since I was born. I do not travel by train because it is not barrier-free and adapted for disabled people, such as platforms.”

These are the testimonials of two signatories of a petition delivered today calling on MEP Liberadzki to support the demand of  persons with disabilities to abolish pre-notification for assistance to train operators when they want to travel.

The petition calls on MEP Liberadzki, as the lead negotiator of the European Parliament in the Rail Passenger Rights’ Regulation, to push for the “turn-up-and-go” principle, as opposed to the current rule that persons with reduced mobility have to contact train operators up to 2 days in advance if they need assistance. This clause causes effective discrimination against persons with reduced mobility in train travel. It effectively stops people from using trains for urgent or non-planned travel, limiting their choice to more expensive (and polluting) options.

This change of the law is also necessary to advance EU’s compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights with Disabilities, a human rights treaty that the EU is bound to.

MEP Liberadzki will represent the European Parliament in the negotiations with the European Commission and the Council of the EU and the position of the Parliament is still the most ambitious one and therefore needs to be upheld.

Yannis Vardakastanis, President of the European Disability Forum, says: “Most EU countries are still opposed to this improvement: they are literally leaving us behind. I count on the European Parliament to defend its citizens in these negotiations. It is essential that “turn up and go” is a reality and that it doesn’t come at the expense of other positive provisions.”

“We all need to travel to work, go to appointments, visit friends and family, or attend last minute meetings. But if you have a disability or reduced mobility, you cannot simply turn up on the day and travel by train. This is an important issue for everyone in Europe and we need to come together to make change happen,” says Giulio Carini, senior campaigner at WeMove Europe.

Related information

Notes to editors

The European Disability Forum is an umbrella organisation of persons with disabilities that defends the interests of 100 million Europeans with disabilities. EDF is a unique platform which brings together representative organisations of persons with disabilities from across Europe.

WeMove Europe is an independent and values-based organisation that seeks to build people power to transform Europe in the name of our community, future generations and the planet.