Von Lucas Tripoteau
The meeting of the rapporteur and shadow rapporteurs in Strasbourg on 11 September on the review of Regulation 1371/2007 on the rights and obligations of rail passengers allowed the negotiators at the European Parliament to reach agreement on 25 compromises. These negotiations are part of the framework of the European Commission’s proposal of September 2017 to make the current regulations more effective. It seems that compromise amendments had been found among the negotiators on 12 June, but the shadow rapporteurs said that rapporteur Bogus?aw Liberadzki (S&D, Poland) had presented different amendments to the MEPs on the Parliament’s transport committee, leading to a postponement of the vote, initially scheduled for 21 June.
While a number of shadow rapporteurs constituting a majority (namely Renaud Muselier (EPP, France), Jens Rohde (ALDE, Denmark), Michael Cramer (Greens/EFA, Germany) and Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL, Spain) later agreed on the key points, the meeting of 11 September seems to have allowed them to agree with Liberadzki.
We understand that the negotiators agreed on 100% reimbursement of a train ticket in the event of a delay of more than two hours (75% for a delay of more than an hour and a half and 50% of delay of more than an hour), and also on regional rail services’ exclusion from the regulation’s scope of application and the exclusion of the exoneration of rail companies from their responsibilities in the event of an ‘exceptional natural catastrophe’, contrary to what the Commission proposes.
Moreover, two years after the text comes into force, all new trains should, according to the compromises, be equipped with spaces for eight bicycles.
Another major point is compulsory free assistance for disabled and reduced mobility individuals, on which agreement was also struck. No prior notice will be required for the travel of a reduced mobility individual if they start from a railway station whose daily throughput is above 10,000 passengers, but a three-hour prior notification will be required for stations with a daily throughput of between 2,000 and 10,000 and 12 hours’ notice for a station with fewer than 2,000 passengers a day.
The text will be put to the vote at the Parliament’s transport committee on 9 October.