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11.10.2011

EU rail reform

More effective regulation should ensure better functioning rail sector

The European Parliament transport committee today voted on a proposal to revise EU rules on competition in the rail sector. After the vote, Green transport spokesperson Michael Cramer said:<//a>

"More effective regulation is needed to promote competition and dismantle monopolies in the rail sector, ensuring rail can fulfil its potential and guarantee sustainable, cheap and safe transport for EU citizens. Strong, independent regulators are a necessary precondition for a healthy rail sector and we welcome that the transport committee today adopted a number of measures aimed at promoting this. Crucially, MEPs voted to ensure regulators are sufficiently staffed and funded, with railway operators given the option to appeal to the European Commission if a regulator does not deliver a timely response."

"MEPs also supported Green proposals aimed at dealing with some of the social and environmental problems of rail transport. Noise-dependant route prices and EU funding for retrofitting of older, noisy trains would help ensure quieter railways. The committee also supported proposals to ensure railway operators have choice as regards their energy supplier. Hopefully, these improvements will now be included in the final legislation."

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Richard More O'Ferrall

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