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S&Ds lead the vote to strengthen rail passengers’ rights in the EU


Today, the European Parliament backed the report drafted by S&D MEP Bogusław Liberadzki aiming to reinforce passengers' rights. The existing regulation, from 2009, introduced important rights for passengers, but there are loopholes in the implementation that the vote today intends to overcome. 
The updated regulation proposes to increase the compensation in case of delays, up to 100% of the ticket price for a delay of over two hours. It also proposes to reduce from 48 to 12 hours the pre-notification period for assistance in stations for disabled persons or those with reduced mobility (DPRMs), and abolish the need of pre-notification in stations with daily traffic of at least 10,000 passengers. 
The proposal adopted today removes the force majeure clause, which allowed for some exemptions that weakened passengers’ rights. 
European Parliament vice-president and S&D MEP Bogusław Liberadzki, who is also the Parliament’s negotiator on Rail Passengers’ Rights, said: 
“This is a big improvement for consumer rights. We not only raise compensation and strengthen the rights for persons with disabilities or limited mobility, but we also increase the protection for consumers who buy multiple tickets for a journey. 
“Regional railway services will be included into the rail passenger rights, making sure that delay compensations are also paid for these services, which make up a large share of the railway market. The proposal also removes exemptions from long-distance domestic services and for cross-border urban and suburban ones.  
“We want to facilitate cross-border travelling within the European Union, and this is why we ask to simplify the complaint-handling mechanism, with a possibility of using English in addition to national languages and introducing standardised complaint forms. 
“Combined mobility should also be encouraged, and this is why we want to make sure that it is possible to carry bicycles on board any train in the European Union. We demand that there is space for at least eight bicycles on board new and refurbished trains.” 
Following the vote today, MEP Bogusław Liberadzki will lead the parliamentary team that will negotiate the final regulation with the EU Council.