MEPs today voted to improve the rights of rail passengers across the EU. Irish rail users could now be entitled to better compensation in cases of delays, more information and better assistance for disabled passengers.
Across the EU when a passengers’ train is more than two hours late, their ticket could be fully refunded. Delays of up to 1.5 hours passenger should be reimbursed by 50% of the ticket price, delays up to two hours by 75%. Measures were also approved to ensure that people with disabilities and reduced mobility can travel more easily. Instead of registering hours in advance, they will be able to present themselves spontaneously at the station and ask for personal assistance.
I am the only Irish MEP on the European Parliament’s Committee for Transport and Tourism which voted today for these modernised rail passenger rights. These measures were approved by the European Parliament and must now be agreed by the Council and Committee.
I am delighted that these measures have been approved by the Parliament which will could mean improved rights for Irish travellers. People travelling by train could be compensated in a fair and reasonable manner in cases of delays. Irish Rail do a good job in ensuring passengers receive compensation if they are delayed but these measures further strengthen the rights of rail passengers.
In addition, railway companies will be obliged to make space for bicycles on all trains they operate. The new rules will apply throughout Europe and for all types of railway services, whether private, public, regional or international. They will be voted on in plenary in October or November and should apply from 2020.