MEPs vote for higher compensation in the event of delays – as well as better access for passengers with bicycles.
Rail travellers will be given bigger compensation for train delays in future, the European Parliament voted yesterday in an upgrade for rail passenger rights.
In the proposed changes, which are likely come into force in 2020, train passengers will be reimbursed half of the ticket fare for delays of more than one hour.
For even longer delays, of between one and two hours, three-quarters of the fare must be refunded, and for delays of more than two hours, the whole price.
If passengers miss a connecting train, they will in addition be entitled to a seat on the next train at no further cost.
The EU parliament is still working on the final wording of the new rules, which also include better access for people with bicycles and free disability assistance on trains.
MEPs backed changes to the existing 2009 rules, to clear up the complaints-handling procedures. Rail companies should also improve information given to passengers about their rights.
Besides the rise in compensation, passengers maintain the right to continue the journey or be rerouted.
Passengers will be entitled to take bicycles on board trains, including high-speed trains, long distance, cross-border and local services, the text says. New and refurbished trains must have well‑indicated spaces to transport bicycles.
Assistance for people with reduced mobility should be free of charge and available at larger stations, without the need to give prior notification, the new rules say.
MEPs also reduced the time for pre-notification in case assistance is needed at smaller stations and clarified the responsibility of rail operators and station managers for fully compensating passengers if they have caused loss of or damage to mobility equipment.