EU Parliament votes for significant improvements in passengers' rights

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ForTheLoveOf, 6 Dec 2018.

  1. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I saw this post by @SickyNicky:
    And read up a little more on the material behind what was voted for - a document approving changes to the current EC Regulation 1371/2007, which regulates passenger rail services.

    I think some of the changes agreed to in that vote (see this PDF, which is relatively readable) are particularly significant. For example:
    • Tickets are to become fully refundable (Recital 17, p.10) - though it's not clear whether this is intended to apply only to international tickets or not;
    • The current exemption on paying compensation for delays occurring during extraordinary circumstances will be eliminated (Recital 21, p.12);
    • The exemption of the application of the Regulation in question to domestic services will only be permitted for 12 months from the date of introduction of the Regulation (Amendment 37, p.18);
    • Combinations of tickets purchased from the same source will now be considered to constitute one through ticket, and one through journey (Amendments 48 and 49, p.22);
    • It will become permitted to take bicycles on all services (note that the Regulation will still be exempt-able in relation to 'urban' services) (Amendment 56, p.24);
    • Any contractual clauses purporting to waive the rights granted in the Regulation will not be binding (Amendment 57, p.25);
    • Except where "well justifiable grounds relating to security or antifraud policy or compulsory train reservation or reasonable commercial grounds, including limitation on space or seat availability" exist, it will be permitted to purchase tickets onboard the train (Amendment 67, p.29);
    • Where no ticket office or accessible ticket machine is provided at the station, and no other means of purchasing a ticket in advance (it is not clear whether this is intended to extend to the likes of apps which sell e-tickets) exists, it will be permitted to purchase tickets onboard the train (Amendment 68, p.29);
    • Most significantly, where a passenger holds a combination of tickets, his rights (w.r.t. compensation, assistance etc.) shall be exactly the same as those of a passenger holding just one ticket (Amendment 140, p.29);
    • When a delay to the passenger's destination of 60 minutes or more occurs, or is predicted, or a cancellation of one or more service(s) occurs (regardless of whether or not this results in a 60+ minute delay), (Amendment 71-78, pp.31-34):
    • (a) the right to take any next available service(s) to continue the journey, regardless of the company operating that service (i.e. TOC restricted tickets would become totally unrestricted) - or alternatively, to alternative transport at no extra cost (e.g. a taxi where services have stopped);
    • (b) the right to abandon the journey and recommence it at a future date of the passenger's convenience (not more than 1 month after the re-establishment of normal service);
    • (c) compensation will be payable on all ticket(s) held, at a sliding scale of 50% for 1 hour, 75% for 1.5 hours, and 100% for 2 hours (calculated with respect to the proportion of the ticket affected, e.g. based off half of the value of a return ticket for a delay to one leg thereof).
    There are also extensive developments to the rights of passengers with reduced mobility and to complaints procedures (effectively mandating the availability of binding arbitration, similar to the Rail Ombudsman which has now been launched).
     
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  3. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    Is this meant to be a good thing?
    It looks like more interference from an undemocratic body that is out of touch with real life and is likely to cause large fare rises in order to compensate for the additional revenues lost through fare evasion and it'll become much harder to obtain reasonably priced advances as people purchase them for multiple trains and then get a refund all except one. It also gives a minority of users (cyclists) rights that are not suitable considering the limited capacity on many trains.
     
  4. JP

    JP Member

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    Well I’d rather have delay repay than that proposed compensation system. Especially since delay repay now starts at 15 minutes.

    Most of these already seem to exist in the UK. Compensation, break of journey, split ticket journey rules.
     
  5. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    You need to think of the proposals as a minimum requirement. Delay Repay is of course part of franchise agreements so has to be agreed with DfT if it is to be changed.
     
  6. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

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    I just love it when elected bodies (in this case the European Parliament) are described as "undemocratic".
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    A minimum of eight bicycles to be carried on all trains!
     
  8. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    If integrated transport, including car-less travel to and from stations, is to be promoted, eight cycles would appear to be at the lower end of the spectrum of what is reasonable!
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes and no - good (staffed, secure) storage facilities at the home station and hire at the destination are also viable models.
     
  10. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    IMO these also need to be free, or very low price. By contrast, a supplement for the carriage of the bike on the train could be introduced sensibly, to reduce no-show reservations and to help pay for the additional cycling accommodation.
     
  11. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    This is just an enhancement over the current minium standards as set by the EP. It doesn't affect extra schemes like Delay Repay. It's worthy of note that very few companies in the UK have yet switched to Delay Repay after 15 minutes. There are still companies that don't offer Delay Repay either (including big ones, Grand Central, Chiltern Railways and Merseyrail) so it shouldn't be taken as read.

    Of course, in my view, it would make far more sense for all companies to be required to sign up for the same Delay Repay scheme as part of their track access rights. Not likely though!
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That would have a significant upside of a possible mandatory single national clearing house for Delay Repay, meaning you only ever had to apply to one place. TOCs would just be billed their share.
     
  13. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    I can't see how it is possible to reconcile EU parliament voting with any other unless it is accepted that only an unrepresentative minority of people turn up for EU elections which makes it rather undemocratic. It also needs to be noted that the EU parliament only plays an advisory role to the unelected EU commission which actually makes the regulations.
     
  14. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    Yes.
    Forcing tickets to be available on board is incompatible which current revenue protection methods so will lead to increased fare evasion, it is quite clearly not sensible for 8 bikes to be allowed on a one coach train that is full and standing and you just need to look at the Next sale to see what happens when people are entitled to a full refund.
    Unfortunately the EU likes to imagine a utopia where all citizens fully comply with all laws and resources are not scarce which is far from the case in reality meaning that theoretical ideals are not suitable for implementation in practice.
    The points on split ticketing are of course welcome but don't really go any further than what is already the case in this country.
     
  15. JonathanP

    JonathanP Member

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    That sounds like a massive loophole, and you could quite easily say in the UK, "we cannot do this because it circumvents our platform barrier-based ticket checking strategy". In which case, there's no problem.

    I just love your loopy reasoning. Anything that goes further than the current arrangements in the UK will cause disastrous problems, anything that doesn't go as far as the current arrangements in the UK is pointless. I.E Everything in the law is bad by default.
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    I mean what a complete load of rubbish hahahahaha :lol:
     
  17. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    GWR don't operate Delay Repay either!
     
  18. pedr

    pedr Member

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    Leaving aside the actual subject, the final sentence here shows a misunderstanding of EU law-making.

    The role of the Commission is to propose and draft legislation (and, if legislation is adopted, to enforce it). It is not the legislator in any meaningful way. Legislation is adopted/created/passed jointly between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Both the Parliament and the Council can amend proposals - as is happening in the linked document - and have to agree to adopt the final text. The Parliament is democratic, in that it is elected by the population of the EU. The UK could have chosen a more democratic (and more proportional) system, but went for the party list system because it suited the large political parties. The Council of the EU is indirectly elected, in that each EU government sends one minister who brings a number of votes equivalent to their country's population. So if this (or any) EU legislation is adopted it has been approved by a directly elected Parliament and by at least 55% of the EU's governments which have to represent at least 65% of the EU population. Otherwise the proposal fails.

    https://www.eumonitor.eu/9353000/1/j4nviihcu0lesxp_j9vvik7m1c3gyxp/vj89lqzrtlx0
     
  19. Meole

    Meole Member

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    The British people voted to dump EC Regulation 1371/2007 so that's the end of it. The view that Qwerty 133 expresses that the entire EC has no democratic accountability is the majority view hence taking back control, the belief is that once out of the EC and out of restrictive regulation our railways will dramatically improve.
     
  20. skifans

    skifans Member

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    Sorry but I have very little understanding of EU law - even ignoring the whole brexit thing. Through what is left of the EU how likely is this to happen/has happened? Has this been voted on yet - will it be? I see some sections make statements like within 2 years from the date the regulations start, do we know what this date is/was yet?
     
  21. kilonewton

    kilonewton Member

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    But the “representative majority” have exercised their democratic right to not vote at all. If you don’t vote (when you are able/permitted to) you lose your right to complain about the results.
    Unless you go down the Australian route of compulsory democracy, any elected body, or referendum result, is going to be likely to only have the support of a minority of eligible voters.
     
  22. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    What has been voted on is essentially that EC Regulation 1371/2007 should be modified, in such a way as the Parliament has agreed (see the document). Various other instruments within the EU will now put together a proposed 'new' EC Regulation 1371/2007. It will then be up for a finalising vote by the European Council (and, I believe, also the European Parliament again). Only when that happens will the legislation be introduced - and even then, there will be a not insubstantial intervening period before it actually comes into effect. It is then another 1/2 years before some of the provisions can no longer be exempted from application by the individual Member States.

    In other words - it will be numerous years before any of this comes into effect. So whether or not it actually has effect in the UK (which it would for some scenarios, for example insofar as it would mandate paying delay compensation for all qualifying delays, regardless of cause) will depend very much on what is agreed after the transition period following the withdrawal from the EU.
     
  23. pedr

    pedr Member

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    Here's a press release from the Parliament after its vote: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/...eps-vote-for-upgrade-to-rail-passenger-rights

    It looks as if it's for the Council to review now. It appears that transport ministers "assessed progress" on the legislation last week, and a future meeting of transport ministers will consider the budgetary and policy elements. It is currently still a legislative proposal (the EU equivalent of a bill before the British Parliament) and not yet an adopted law, so it will be some time before it comes into force. If it is in force by the time we leave the EU, its provisions will continue to apply in the UK. If it isn't, what effect it has will depend on whether the withdrawal agreement is approved and adopted or not, I think.
     
  24. skifans

    skifans Member

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    That makes sense - thank you.
     
  25. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    Yes, it's that easy, as evidenced by the last 2 1/2 years.

    You display impressive levels of mind reading ability to be able to divine the reasons people voted to leave. It's true that many people, perhaps a majority of those voting leave (but not a majority of the UK electorate), did so for reasons of sovereignty, but this is surely to do with wanting decisions affecting the UK to be made in the UK, irrespective of democratic accountability within the EU.

    The reality will be somewhat different, I guarantee it.
     
  26. nidave

    nidave Member

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    The fact people cant not be bothered to vote in the EU elections is not the fault of the EU
     
  27. nidave

    nidave Member

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    Just because ... "EC has no democratic accountability is the majority view" does not make it true. A lot of people think Vaccines cause autism - that's false as thinking the world is flat or Australia does not exist.

    People can believe whatever they want but belief does not make it a fact.
     
  28. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    Lots of mentioning of ensuring staff are properly trained to deal with passengers with disabilities - typical EU red tape. :roll:
     
  29. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    But it could quite easily be solved by allowing individual countries to set polling days and terms of office for the EU parliament in line with general elections rather than a EU wide voting window as people who turn up to vote in one election generally also vote in other elections being held on the same day.
     
  30. nidave

    nidave Member

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    But you are clamming that because people cant be bothered to vote in EU elections therefore its "rather undemocratic" that is demonstrably false people choosing not to vote when they have the opportunity does not suddenly make something undemocratic. Correlation is not causation.

    Its like saying "Im choosing to run a red light and am immune from the law when I run someone over as I didn't choose that law"
     
  31. Randomer

    Randomer Member

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    I really don't see forcing ticket sales to be allowed on board going down very well in a lot of Europe. In some countries conductors don't sell tickets at all due to rulings from the countries health and safety bodies about lone working with large amounts of cash or purely revenue enforcement reasons. They only check and issue (very hefty) penalty fares if not shown or valid.
     

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