The rail sector is fully engaged in addressing the important societal need for better accessibility of persons with disabilities to public infrastructure. In this regard, rail Infrastructure Managers (IMs) are committed to continue investing in making the railway infrastructure, such as stations and platforms, accessible for all users including persons with reduced mobility (PRM). At European level, Regulation (EU) 1300/2014 on the Technical Specifications for Interoperability relating to accessibility of the Union’s rail system for persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (TSI PRM) applies to infrastructure, operation and traffic management, telematics applications and rolling stock where accessibility of persons with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility is necessary. Only new or renewed infrastructure and/or rolling stock will have to comply with the accessibility rules as defined in the TSI PRM.
EIM in action
- EIM advocates accessibility of persons with disabilities to rail infrastructures via EIM’s PRM Working Group. The speakers of the EIM PRM WG are regularly attending meetings of the working parties of the EU Agency for Railways (ERA);
- EIM is a member of the ‘European Commission TSI Advisory Body’, a European Commission Expert Group dealing with the PRM TSI. EIM speakers ensure a fair balance between accessibility, financial impact, operations and human resources requirements.
- In May 2019, the European Commission adopted Implementing Regulation 2019/772 that requires Member States to make an inventory of assets related to PRM with a view to identifying barriers to accessibility, providing information to users and monitoring and evaluating progress on accessibility.
- The European Commission and the Member States will continue to discuss PRM-rights within the framework of the Rail Passengers’ Rights.
EC Regulation (EU)1300/2014
Since the “Third Railway Package” of 2007, the EU guarantees the rights of transport passengers through Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 aiming at ensuring a minimum level of protection for rail passengers across the EU, including rights for persons with disabilities or persons with reduced mobility (‘PRM’). In 2017 the European Commission proposed a revision of this Regulation in order to fix some shortcomings, notably on: the availability and accessibility of information; passengers’ rights in situations of delays; missed connections or train cancellations and more appropriate and higher compensations and assistance for PRMs.
EIM in action
- EIM advocates a balanced approach between rights and obligations;
- EIM has established a close dialogue with members of the European Parliament (MEPs) dealing with rail passengers’ rights.
- In 2018, EIM published an updated ‘Position Paper on the Recast Regulation 1371/2007’ and had numerous bilateral and multilateral meetings with MEPs (rapporteurs/shadow rapporteurs) and other stakeholders on the issue.
- EIM closely monitored the issue, together with other rail stakeholders, throughout 2019.
- An agreement on the final text is expected by 2020 after trialogues take place between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council.