Rail passengers’ rights: railways and national enforcement bodies strengthen cooperation

Rail passengers’ rights: railways and national enforcement bodies strengthen cooperation

Thursday, 10 May 2012

More dialogue between railways and national enforcement bodies will allow a smoother implementation of the Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (Rail PRR). At a workshop organised by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) and the International Rail Transport Committee (CIT) on 10 May in Brussels, more than 80 experts from railway undertakings, national enforcement bodies, European institutions, and other transport stakeholders outlined their experience with the regulation. The discussions clearly underlined the importance of a better dialogue between stakeholders when implementing the European regulation.

 
Two and a half years after the entry into force of the Regulation (EC) 1371/2007 on rail passengers’ rights and obligations (Rail PRR), railways and national authorities exchanged views on the implementation of this regulation in the daily practice. The participants discussed in particular the issue of liability for delay: how to make sure that passengers’ rights in the event of delay are understood and applied by all rail industry actors in the same way throughout Europe. Based on actual cases, the participants shared their understanding on some specific issues, for instance on the grounds for relief of liability, the challenge of cooperating in an increasing competing environment, the procedure of handling passengers’ complaints. The attendants also drew lessons when comparing the situation to the air sector.
 

Cesare Brand, CIT General Secretary, said: “The European dimension to the Rail PRR means that the approach must be at a high-level although taking national differences and the exemptions allowed by EU Member States into account. The CIT and CER are convinced of the value of interpreting and applying the Rail PRR across the European Union in the most uniform way possible.”
 

Libor Lochman, CER Executive Director, stated: “By offering a common discussion platform for railways and national enforcement bodies, we want to contribute to the quality of the services offered to rail passengers. That is why we also decided to continue offering all respective actors a useful forum to exchange ideas and at the same time a unique opportunity to network and make contacts across borders. We would like to invite today’s participants to continue to discuss the main issues raised today, e.g. handling of claims, extraordinary circumstances, assistance, in order to find common understanding. In a year from now, we will be happy to gather again all stakeholders to a second workshop on rail passengers’ rights.”