Heads of CER and ECF meet to discuss shared priorities

Heads of CER and ECF meet to discuss shared priorities

Monday, 13 June 2016

Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) and CER Excecutive Director Libor Lochman


On Monday 13 June, Dr Libor Lochman, Executive Director of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) welcomed Dr Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of the European Cyclists Federation (ECF) to the CER office in Brussels.

Although the two organisations have worked together on various issues over the past few years, it was the first time that both heads had specially met to discuss shared priorities and opportunities going forward.

As the ‘Voice of European Railways’, CER’s main focus is to promote the regulatory framework for the development of rail as essential to the creation of a sustainable transport system which is both efficient and environmentally sound. The ECF meanwhile is pledged to ensure that bicycle use achieves its fullest potential so as to bring about sustainable mobility and public well-being. As Dr Lochman and Dr Ensink noted during their discussions, promoting these two modes of transport has many benefits for European citizens, rail operators as well as the wider society. Bike and train journeys can provide a genuine alternative to the private car for door-to-door journeys without the negative impacts, such as congestion, increased health risks and noise and air pollution.

The meeting served as an opportunity for Dr Lochman and Dr Ensink to introduce their respective organisations to each other. A particular focus of the conversation that followed was the environmental benefits of combining the two modes, with CER making references to the European Commission’s efforts to decarbonise the transport sector, an area in which bike-rail intermodality can play an important role, while Dr Ensink spoke of ECF’s involvement in the UN’s Habitat III process, which confirms the need for a massive increase in walking, cycling and public transport.

Dr Lochman and Dr Ensink agreed that a concrete outcome of the meeting would be for the two organisations to prepare a joint workshop to highlight examples from around Europe of good practices in terms of bike-rail intermodality, with a focus on facilitating the first and last mile bike journey to and from the stations. The workshop – to be arranged in the autumn – will target rail operators and cover topics like bicycle infrastructure inside and outside of stations, public bike systems and combined ticketing, providing information for passengers and bicycle carriage.   

For more information on the joint event, please click here.