UITP – International Union of Public Transport : Fourth Railway Package – rail sector needs Technical Pillar

Fourth Railway Package – rail sector needs Technical Pillar The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), the Association of the European Rail Industry (UNIFE), the International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP), the European Passenger Train and Traction Operating Lessors Association (EPTTOLA) and the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) wish to confirm their strong support for the Technical Pillar of the Fourth Railway Package and stress the importance and urgency for reaching an agreement between the European Council and the European Parliament on this part of the proposal as laid out in the compromise text prepared by the Irish Presidency in April 2013.

Today’s situation is proving challenging for the railway sector and the competitive performance of the railways as a mode of transport. The authorisation and certification procedures are costly and time consuming. The overall authorisation process for vehicles in Europe can last longer than two years, immobilising assets worth €1.2bn that are waiting for authorisation and cannot be put into service.

The authorisation and certification processes must be simplified as quickly as possible and the European Railway Agency (ERA) must become progressively a one-stop-shop for authorisation and certification. To achieve that, there shall be an evolutionary plan for competencies growth at ERA and clear responsibilities for single safety certificate and vehicle authorisation.

The European rail sector regards the simpler and quicker authorisation and certification processes as a pre-condition for achieving the objectives set by the European Commission’s 2011 Transport White Paper: increase capacity of the railway system and build the Single European Railway Area. They are furthermore needed to increase the competitiveness of the sector vis-à-vis other modes of transport in order to attract citizens and goods to railways for a sustainable, and potentially carbon-free transport system.

The European rail sector encourages the European Parliament and the European Council to reach an agreement during the current parliamentary mandate, starting from the forthcoming council transport meeting on June 10, and to not miss this historic opportunity to revitalise the European railway system.

CER Executive Director Libor Lochman added: “The discussions about the Technical Pillar are now heading in the right direction and need to be accelerated. CER shares the opinion of the necessity for a stronger European Railway Agency acting as a one-stop-shop and deciding about vehicle authorisation, safety certification and trackside ERTMS, while cooperating closely with the national safety agencies.”

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Source : UITP

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