Concerns raised over passenger rights changes
EUROPE: The European Passengers’ Federation and the ALLRAIL association of new market entrants have called for mandatory protection for passengers making multi-leg journeys using separate tickets to be included in the recast of EU regulation COM(2017)0548 covering rail passengers’ rights.
This would mean that if a connection were missed as a result of a delayed train, passengers with separate tickets for each leg would be able to continue to their destination at no extra cost as long as they had allowed the published minimum connection time.
The associations said that while long journeys by air can often be made using a single carrier, rail journeys frequently require the use of two or more operators, and ‘market-dominant incumbents’ want missed connection protection to remain voluntary.
‘Missed connection protection should be mandatory’, said EPF Chair Josef Schneider on November 13. ‘As soon as one operator does not participate, then cross-border rail becomes a lottery’.
ALLRAIL and EPF said amendments to the recast adopted by the European Parliament’s Transport Committee last month threaten to make the situation worse, because in Articles 3(15) and 16(1) the definition of ‘missed connection’ is limited only to journeys under one ‘transport contract’. The associations believe Article 10(6) should ensure that passenger rights apply equally to separate tickets covering a single journey, from the place of departure to the final destination.
‘It’s crucial the European Parliament corrects this in the plenary vote on November 15’, believes ALLRAIL Secretary General Nick Brooks. ‘MEPs must support amendments 137, 139, 140 and 145.’