WCN Open Letter to European Comission on International Rail Cuts

singer ptBerlin, 7 December 2012.

As new rail timetables come into effect across Europe this Sunday, the World Carfree Network has issued an open letter to the European Commission warning of the increasingly drastic cuts to EU cross-border passenger rail services, and calling for immediate action to maximise rail’s potential and reach the EU’s own transport and climate policy goals.

This weekend all direct trains between Barcelona and Milan and Zurich, Bucharest and Belgrade, and Brussels and The Hague will be lost, while severe cuts will affect other international routes to/from: Belgium (23 trains), Bosnia (all except 2 to Croatia cut), Croatia (34 out of 56 international trains cut or part-cut) and Serbia (14 out of 24 international trains to other capital cities cut).

These new blows to cross-border rail come on top of cuts in recent years that have already seen the loss of all international passenger trains to and from Greece, together with all direct trains – among others – from Brussels to Berlin, Venice to Budapest, Verona to Berlin and Hamburg, Vilnius to Riga and Tallinn, and Paris to Vienna.

The World Carfree Network is calling on the European Commission to implement ten measures to maximise the potential of rail. These include interventions to ensure the better coordination of timetables and ticketing, as well as strategic policy changes such as acceleration of the introduction of road user charging, and an urgent review of the liberalisation legislation that has led to increased costs for operators of cross-border rail services.

More information can be found in the attached press release. The open letter, complete with detailed appendices, is available for download here:

Best regards,

Simon Field.
World Carfree Network

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