Rail monopoly news – 27April 2016
Message to European Transport Council – Why follow the UK to wreck parts of the 4th Railway Package
Message to the European Parliament – Don’t validate the Technical pillar yet!
The UK Government is putting the 4th Railway Package at risk by digging its heels in with France (and Germany) so that railways turn a blind eye to conflicts of interest clauses which will effectively allow France and other vertically integrated railways to preserve the status quo of their monopoly supplier of most rail services and the tracks to keep other operators out. At present, there are no UK and very few other passenger operators, and just a few freight operators, all struggling in France because they find it so difficult to operate there in such a monopolistic environment.
It is extraordinary that the UK, as a major supporter of competition and the Single Market, which encourages UK suppliers and operators to seek business in other member states, should be at the same time opposing EU plans to make this easier.
The UK has the chance to salvage its reputation as a supporter of the Single Market tomorrow morning (28th ) under the Dutch Presidency and not jeopardise the 4th Railway Package which is so important for the future of railways across Europe!
The European Parliament is also due to validate the technical pillar of the 4th RP tomorrow. They should postpone this until the member states Transport Council have sorted out the Governance part. Why give state owned monopolies technical harmonisation whilst opposing more competition above rail?
An irregular comment paper from Tony Berkeley 27 April 2016.
Tony Berkeley is chairman of the UK Rail Freight Group and a Board Member of the European Rail Freight Association. The opinions expressed are his own.