In Europe: Disability groups look to lose out on EU rail passenger rights reform legislation.

In Europe: Disability groups look to lose out on EU rail passenger rights

Disability groups’ hope of an EU-wide rail passenger rights legislation, giving them the right to “turn up and go” on train journeys, looks likely to falter in the European Parliament.

One-in-six people in the EU reports having a disability, yet most trains and railway stations in Europe lack accessibility functions. Passengers must often give a station 48-hour notice to receive assistance with train travel.

Gunta Anca, Secretary-General of the European Disability Forum, said: “It’s about the right of people with disabilities to live the same life as everybody else.”

As a consequence, 80 million EU citizens with disabilities and millions of other passengers with reduced mobility still can't travel across Europe independently.

The bill is up for vote on Monday in the European Parliament Transport committee. 

The vote will allow for the case to be articulate to the court, on whether legislation should be put in place to help those with a disability receive support to “turn up and go”.

Ms Anca added: “Disability groups are also warning that staff training falls short, and once onboard, access to facilities such as restaurant carts or toilets remains restricted”

“EU countries similarly have different procedures for requesting assistance, and services aren’t always available in other languages. On one side people with disabilities have the same rights. But on the other side, people with disabilities don’t have the same opportunity.”

The accessibility of stations varies across the bloc, with some countries and stations have already implemented shorter notification periods or eliminated the need for them altogether.

However, there is currently no EU-wide precedent, with campaigners in no doubts that a change and acceptance of the "turn up and go" on the committee and parliament would set a recognizable benchmark for accessibility and a common standard for passengers who require assistance in train travel across the continent. 



Transforming Track Maintenance & Safety


Transforming Track Maintenance & Safety

Delve into the rich range of contributions in our April/May 2021 edition of RTM, covering everything from automated video technology on trains to detect lineside obstructions and risks to the plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and hear from the team behind the new Piccadilly line tube stock


View all videos
RTM365 Online Festival, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

RTM365 Online Festival

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
16th June 2021

On the 16th June, RTM365 will bring together industry leaders to share their knowledge on how to start attracting a diverse workforce, 

how driving cultural change within your organisation can help develop and retain new skills,

the investment in creating a rail network accessible for all and

how to ensure your business meets EDI standards in procurement to win new business. 


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all