Business, Freight News, Logistics

Rail package disappoints forwarders

[ January 31, 2013   //   ]

CLECAT, the European freight forwarders’ association says that it is disappointed that the European Commission has backtracked from plans to impose separation of the infrastructure management and railway operations, in its long awaited Fourth Railway Package. It said the proposal would allow incumbent rail freight operators to keep their holding structures, making separation ‘optional’.

Clecat director-general Nicolette van der Jagt said:  “the Commission has clearly considered the political ramifications of its proposals and settled for something which falls far shorter of what we were hoping for, namely, full unbundling in all cases.”

CLECAT however fully supports proposals to enhance powers for the European Railway Agency to establish a one-stop-shop approval process.  Lengthy and costly procedures for railway rolling stock impedes the creation of a Single European Railway Area and adds unacceptable additional costs for operators.

The Rail Freight Group also said that it was “deeply disappointed” that the Commission had stepped back from proposals to ensure full and complete separation of infrastructure management and train operation in all Member States. The holding company model which would still be permitted could allow anti-competitive behaviour to persist, it said. Nevertheless, said RFG executive director, Maggie Simpson, “The measures will have important benefits for UK companies seeking to grow their business across Europe. It is now up to the Council and European Parliament to demonstrate its independence of national interests and insist on full separation of track and train. Without this rail freight will struggle to prosper, and to fulfill its role at the heart of European logistics.”



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