Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Lobby Groups Detail Wish List of European Rail Freight Improvements

Decarbonisation and Second Hand Rolling Stock Market Prioritised
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – In preparation for the first meeting of the TRAN Committee, the two independent rail company groups, the European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) and ALLRAIL have submitted a letter detailing their wish list of changes and improvements to be considered the new legislative period. Considering that the development of the rail market share is key for the European sustainable development, the pair are keen to address all the Members of European Parliament suggesting the way ahead at the starting point of the new legislative period.

This includes full completion of the liberalisation of the rail sector to provide fair competition and better service quality for passengers and freight whilst at the same time reducing the cost to the taxpayers of ongoing subsidies. The intention is to ensure that European rail traffic, essential for sustainable development, grows whilst for freight the development of a healthy market in second hand rolling stock of all types is a key challenge. Carole Coune, ERFA Acting Secretary General, said:

“The main transversal challenges are the guarantee of having independent, well-staffed and efficient regulatory bodies all across Europe and a European infrastructure with a high level of resilience at an affordable price. For freight, the development of a healthy market in second hand rolling stock of all types, as there is one for air and road vehicles.”

ALLRAIL, a body made up of a variety of new vested interests in rail transport, is equally dedicated to putting its views before the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission in order to ensure one transparent and competitive European rail network which customers will use in increasing freight volumes and passenger numbers. Nick Brooks, ALLRAIL Secretary General, observed:

“Competition in the passenger market has led to modal shift in favour of rail. With climate activists such as Greta Thunberg calling for immediate action, what is Europe waiting for? Therefore, we call on EU stakeholders to make faster market opening a top priority between 2019 and 2024. Otherwise, we do not believe that Europe’s ambitious decarbonisation goals will be achieved, it will be too late.”