Press releases

European Parliament Resolution on EU action to combat the COVID 19 pandemic and its consequences

UIP and the other rail sector associations ALLRAIL, CER, EIM, ERFA, UIRR and UNIFE - representing infrastructure managers, railway operators, intermodal companies, wagon keepers and the rail supply industry - jointly:

  • Welcome the Resolution of the European Parliament on COVID-19 and the proposed massive recovery and reconstruction package for investment to support the European economy after the crisis;
  • Remind that also the rail sector has a crucial, strategic and innovative role to play during and after the crisis. Rail infrastructure, rail freight and intermodal services, as well as its rail supply industry ensure the cross-border delivery of essential goods and other critical commodities and prove to be critical actors and assets;
  • Underline that rail passenger services continue to provide key services for crucial workers during the crisis;
  • Reassure that the protection of rail passengers and staff remains an unquestionable priority also under these exceptional circumstances; while reminding that, in a situation with no revenues and increasing requests for refund, temporary flexibilityin paying ticket or passes refunds is needed to reduce the risk of cash-flow issues.
  • Call on the European Commission, the European Parliament and Member States to further support high performing rail infrastructure and transport operators, as well as a competitive rail supply industry, so that they can quickly resume business activities as soon as the crisis is over;
  • Advocate ongoing support for the rail sector also beyond the COVID-19 period in order to support the sector’s digital transformation and sustainable transition. By doing so, the rail sector can make a substantial contribution to the European Green Deal, the Single European Rail Area and the resilience and the development of multimodal logistics;
  • Conclude that rail transport connects businesses and people in normal and exceptional times in a reliable manner and that it is committed to become a sustainable, innovative, seamless transport backbone for Europe.



 

COVID-19 – Transport keep us going

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic and governments worldwide have taken wide-ranging measures to contain the spread of the virus.

The transport sector has a crucial role to play in the supply of goods, in particular medicines, medical devices, food and other essential commodities needed to overcome this crisis. The transport sector also proves to be a vital instrument in these times where many European citizens are restricted in their mobility.

The undersigned European associations representing transport, infrastructure managers, operators, workers in all transport modes and logistics, contractors, local and regional authorities, logistics service providers, shippers, users and equipment suppliers in the maritime, port, inland waterways, railways, road, cycling, aviation and intermodal sectors, as well as supporting industries and companies, jointly endorse the following statement:

  • Highlight the key role transport and logistics are playing for the supply of essential goods in this critical period: stress that transport infrastructure is in this respect critical infrastructure;
  • Show their respect and support to all workers in the supply chain enabling the continuity of transport services, the movement of goods and essential commodities, as well as the repatriation of stranded citizens, and thus playing a major role in helping the European citizens to overcome this crisis;
  • Call on the Member States to enable smooth border crossings for freight transport, both intra-EU and with third countries, in this respect fully support the establishment of green freight lanes in coordination with the concerned transport stakeholders;
  • Support the measures and actions taken on EU-level and by national governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 and call on the Members States to coordinate their response to the COVID-19 and to follow the European Commission’s guidelines on border management;
  • Reiterate the importance of protecting the health and safety of transport workers, notably through personal protective equipment, as well as access to clean and disinfected sanitary facilities, food and drinks;
  • Highlight that the transport and logistics sectors are based on a physical work force and call on the European Commission and the Member States to facilitate its mobility, including repatriation of the transport work force;
  • Urge the policy makers to assist the heavily affected transport sector in its recovery, to ensure future connectivity for both passengers and freight, and to revitalise the arteries of the internal market as soon as the crisis is over.

 

COVID-19 - Freight Associations call for Further Action to Secure Rail Freight Supply Chains and Mobility of Goods

The above signed associations welcome the agreement of 18 March between EU Transport Ministers and the European Commission to work closely to minimise traffic disruptions, especially for essential freight. For rail freight to be able to play a leading role in freight flows, the associations believe further measures need to be taken, both by the European Commission and national authorities.

Firstly, the above signed associations believe the agreement between the EU Transport Ministers and the European Commission is a positive progression from the Commission Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services published on 16 March. For rail freight to be efficient, coordination of national responses is essential. The commitment of Transport Ministers to work together is therefore highly welcome.

Secondly, there are several critical success factors for international rail freight to play a leading role in connecting European economies and to be able to act as the backbone for securing the supply of raw materials, food and medical goods. The EU transport Ministers and Commission agreement, as well as the Guidelines for border management, are welcome, but need to be followed by concrete actions.

The above signed associations therefore urge the European Commission and national authorities to consider the following elements in their decision-making process so as to allow rail freight to contribute to the unprecedented logistical challenges faced by European companies and retailers

  • Rail Freight Corridors must become “green lanes” to guarantee European supply chains 
  • Allow cross border movements for systemic relevant staff
  • Safeguard a minimum capacity at maintenance facilities 
  • Introduce flexibility in the regulatory framework to avoid traffic disruptions
  • Coordinated approach to capacity restrictions 
  • Temporary Capacity Restrictions and Construction Works 
  • Economic Support for Continued Freight Flows 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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