On Thursday, 29 April 2021, the European Parliament adopted the revised Rail Passengers’ Rights Regulation (1371/2007) on its second reading. This means that the Regulation will soon be officially published and enter into force in 2 years from now.
We have been lobbying actively since 2016 to improve the existing law, especially with our campaign to allow for a “turn-up-and-go” system for assistance to persons with disabilities at all railway stations in the EU. Unfortunately, the EU institutions missed yet another opportunity to allow for spontaneous, independent rail travel on an equal basis with others, as it should be under Article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
However, we did achieve an improvement of the status quo: Pre-notification to reserve assistance will now be shortened to 24 hours by law, which is halving the current pre-notification period of 48 hours. Information will also have to be in accessible formats, including in situations where rail services are disrupted or replaced by buses. Other successes include that there is now a provision on staff training (new), railway undertakings are liable for damaged, lost, or destroyed mobility equipment (new), and there is a new general non-discrimination clause.
Our more detailed analysis of the different provisions will be published soon. Following the adoption in the Parliament, the final text will now be translated and then published in the Official Journal of the EU.
Marie Denninghaus – Policy Coordinator