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 Full text 
Wednesday, 14 November 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Rail passengers' rights and obligations (debate)

  Jacqueline Foster (ECR). – Mr President, whilst we always welcome better provisions for passengers’ rights, this report does not go far enough and threatens to undermine long-standing practices in the UK rail industry. Our compensation measures are already well established and clear, the system works well and passengers understand it. By reducing the scope for when companies must compensate passengers, this report will dumb down what we’ve achieved and undermine our high standards.

The report also contains some concerning provisions for passengers with reduced mobility. The requirement that they must certify service animals, such as guide dogs, before boarding a train is nonsensical. In addition, the varying notice period required for those needing assistance is deeply confusing. Differences between large urban and small rural stations must be acknowledged, but national transport departments should liaise closely with rail companies and consumer groups to decide on these matters.

Finally, we all want to see greater use of bicycles, but the requirement that all services have eight designated spaces is wholly impractical. Many operators would have to order new rolling stock to meet the demand, and it could result in chronic overcrowding in rush hour services and again such issues as this should be determined locally and nationally. For those reasons, the British Conservatives will be voting against the report at this time, but we do hope that the institutions can improve the text.

Last updated: 8 April 2019Legal notice