Joint letter by EPF, EDF, AGE and ECF

Brussels, 12.11.2019

Dear EU leaders,

Train travel is important. It is less polluting. It is less costly. Accessible, affordable train travel is not only a question of human rights, it is a question of environmental sustainability. Now there is a chance to make train travel work for passengers and at the same time encourage a more sustainable travel movement.

The Parliament’s revision of the recast of the EU Rail Passengers’ Rights Regulation (1371/2007) included proposals that would make train travel more efficient and user friendly: force majeure was removed as a ground for exception; contracted regional and suburban services were covered; passenger journeys involving multiple operators were protected; dedicated space for at least 8 bicycles was required on all new and refurbished passenger rolling stock; and exemptions were limited. Unfortunately, despite the democratic voice of the Parliament, some Member States are seeking to block these improvements.

What we are asking is not impossible. We demand a recast of the Rail Passengers’ Rights Regulation that improves protection for citizens. As the President-elect has said in her Mission Letter to Commissioner-designate for Transport, the European institutions ‘should ensure that (transport) remains affordable, reliable and accessible’ and, above all, ‘that passenger rights are respected’.

Therefore, we, the undersigned, call for EU leaders to walk the talk for passengers’ rights and sustainable transport. We ask that you do not exclude any passengers from accessing more environmentally friendly options. We request that EU Member States improve the rights of passengers by supporting the limitation of exemptions under the recast Regulation and accept improvements to the rights of passengers.

The future is sustainable.
The future is inclusive.
Please do not stand in the way of the future.