Vice-President Siim Kallas website

European Commission Mobility and Transport website

UK multimodal centre to become reality thanks to EU funding

Port Salford, the UK’s first distribution park served by inland waterway, road and rail, is to become a reality thanks to an EU contribution of almost €1 million up to December 2012. The financing is intended to support studies which will precede the eventual creation of a multimodal distribution park adjacent to the Manchester Ship Canal, the main Trans-Pennine railway line and the M60 motorway, thus improving interoperability on TEN-T Priority Project 26, the “Railway/Road axis–Ireland/United Kingdom/Continental Europe”.

[Full text]

To the top of the page

50 facts and figures website on transport now available in Enligh, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish

50 facts and figures

Transport matters - it keeps the economy moving and gives us the freedom to travel. The EU’s new strategy will take us to 2050, developing cleaner, greener and more efficient transport. Find out more through the facts & figures on this site.

[50 facts and figures]

To the top of the page

Volcanic ash disruption: one year on and crisis preparedness

Volcanic Ash Cloud

One year after the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in April 2010, a wide range of follow up measures have been taken – as agreed by ministers at the Transport Council of May 4 2010 on the basis of proposals by the Commission – at international, EU and national level to improve crisis preparedness in aviation, particularly in relation to volcanic ash. The results so far are listed below, but the work is ongoing. The European Commission, Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency will participate in the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) simulation exercise on April 13 and 14 to test the effectiveness of the changes to the ICAO volcanic ash contingency plan for Europe and procedures. The Commission, based on the results of the simulation as well as its assessment of progress to date, will report back Transport Ministers in June.

[Full text]

To the top of the page

Background

Passenger rights – Main findings and next steps

Passenger Rights logo

The European Commission announced a series of measures to clarify and strengthen the enforcement of passenger rights across Europe. European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport, announced the measures, as the Commission published two Communications providing a detailed assessment of the first six years of application of the regulations on air passenger rights (Regulation 261/2004) and rights for people with reduced mobility ("PRM" Regulation 1107/2006). Vice-President Siim Kallas also announced his intention to launch this year an impact assessment and public consultation with a view to the Commission adopting proposals for a revision of Regulation 261 on Air Passenger Rights in 2012.

The communications published this week

  • Communication on the application of Regulation 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and cancellation of long delay of flights (with accompanying staff working paper providing relevant data).
  • Communication on the operation and results of Regulation 1107/2006 concerning the rights of people with reduced mobility when they travel by air.

The main findings

The main finding from both communications is that, in their first years of application, the introduction of passenger rights legislation has been a major step forwards raising significantly overall standards for passengers and industry.

  • The most immediate conclusion is the need for tougher enforcement of passenger rights, so passengers can more effectively access the rights they have, and industry has more clarity, uniform interpretation and a level playing field across Europe. This is a particularly important issue in relation to passengers with reduced mobility. (See detailed measures listed below proposed by the Commission to strengthen enforcement of existing rules).

The next steps

In the short term, we need stronger and more uniform enforcement.

The review shows a clear need for stronger enforcement – for consumers so they can effectively access the rights they are entitled to, and for industry so they have more clarity, uniform treatment and a level playing field across the EU.

To strengthen enforcement:

  • In 2011, the Commission will adopt a new mandate to strengthen the NEB network – the network of national enforcement bodies – for stronger pan-European enforcement of passenger rights. The new mandate will more clearly define the network's powers and allow it to adopt common decisions to allow for a more uniform and coherent application of legislation across the EU.
  • By end-2011, the Commission will agree with NEB and publish interpretive guidelines, clarifying the application of Regulation 1107/2006 on passengers with reduced mobility (PRM). Disabled people and people with reduced mobility continue to come across many problems when travelling by air: a lack or unequal level of quality of service in Europe; too often unjustified refusals or restrictions of reservations or boarding based on unclear safety reasons; inconsistencies in the treatment of passengers who need medical oxygen onboard; limited level of awareness of passengers regarding their rights; limited percentage (around 40%) of pre-notification of their needs before travelling; lack of harmonisation of the interpretation of the regulation by national enforcement bodies; and lack of effectiveness in the treatment of complaints. The aim is to have new implementing guidelines place in good time to facilitate travel for the Para Olympics in London in 2012. In particular these guidelines will clarify the provisions on access – when can PRM passengers be refused onboard, when must they be accompanied. As well as other issues, for example issues surrounding the handling of the mobility equipment (i.e. wheel chairs).
  • Establishment of a new forum to allow regular consultation on all issues related to air passenger rights with consumers and industry.
  • Step up work to raise awareness and give people accurate information on their rights when they need it. The passenger rights road-show led by Meglena Kuneva – Vice-President Kallas's special envoy on passenger rights – and information campaign continue in 2011. The Commission will also produce an application to provide easy mobile information for passengers on their rights.
Passenger Rights logo

Looking ahead towards a revision of Regulation 261

  • Looking ahead, Vice-President Kallas today announced his intention to revise Regulation 261 on air passenger rights, with a proposal from the Commission in 2012, looking at key issues such as limitation of liability in cases of exceptional circumstances, compensation thresholds, as well as re-routing and sharing the burden of risk.
  • The Vice-President announced his intention to launch a public consultation before the end of 2011, on key issues raised by consumers and industry and national authorities for possible inclusion in the revision of Regulation 261.
  • The Vice-President announced his intention to include in the public consultation not only issues relating to the current Regulation 261 but also key issues relating to lost luggage (Regulation 889/2002) or to commercial practices linked to rescheduling (passenger rights in cases of flight rescheduling) andno-shows (clarifying the situation for airlines in the case of connecting flights where there are "no show" passengers).
  • The Commission will launch, by the end of 2011, an impact assessment providing the economic analysis on key issues potentially to be included in the revision.
  • In particular, the assessment, on many issues, has shown a critical lack of data on which to base analysis. The provision of data from industry and national authorities as well as consumer groups is a central underpinning proportionate and good regulation. This will be an important issue for the consultation and subsequent revision.

Joining up passenger rights across modes

In addition to the air passenger rights which are in place since 2005, passengers now benefit from rights on rail since January 2009. Passengers will also have new rights on maritime and inland waterways travel coming into force in 2012 (Regulation 1177/2010) as well as for bus and coaches in 2013 (Regulation 181/2011). To ensure the rights function effectively between modes, the Commission will in 2011 bring forward a communication to set out a common definition of how certain key rights should apply across all modes, e.g. re-routing.

[More]

[Full text]

To the top of the page

If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter on transport topics, please log in here to unsubscribe