Regulation on rail passengers’ rights - our proposed amendments

20 March 2018
Train stopped at an open air train station.

The European Parliament Transport and Tourism Committee rapporteur, M. Liberadzki, has now published his draft report to European Commission proposal for a recast of Regulation 1371/2007.

As the regulation includes important provision on the right to transport and the right to assistance, we published a position paper last October highlighting our key priorities for the revision.

We are pleased that the Transport and Tourism Committee rapporteur listened to some of our concerns. For example, we welcome clarification that booking of assistance needs to be free of charge. We also welcome the proposal to strengthen the power of National Enforcement Bodies (NEBs) to deal with individual complaints, as well as the proposed involvement of Disabled Person’s Organisations in audits of the assistance services provided.

The rapporteur is seeking to halve the 48-hour pre-notification rule to book assistance. This is a step in the right direction but it means that persons with disabilities would still be unable to travel spontaneously. We are calling for “Turn up and go” to be the norm everywhere so that persons with disabilities can travel like everybody else.

Finally, we have concerns about the fact that some of the amendments proposed would weaken the European Commission’s proposal. We will be working with MEPs and propose further amendments over the next few weeks. This is a unique opportunity to ensure persons with disabilities have an equal right to access rail transport - it should not be missed.

All EU Member States have now ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). They have an obligation to ensure that its provisions on accessibility are upheld. Independent and spontaneous travel is not a reality for most persons with disabilities in Europe. We hope that MEPs will table our proposed amendments in order to address this long-standing discrimination. We are particularly keen to eliminate the requirement for pre-notification when booking assistance for rail travel. We also want to make absolutely sure that all rail staff undergo thorough disability-related training.

Find a list of Members of the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism here

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