Rail group slams EC report on privatisation
International Freight Weekly: 14-11-2008
A new EC report into rail liberalisation has found many rail operators are happy with the current level of privatisation and want no further change.
However, the Rail Freight Group (RFG) condemned the findings and immediately called on the UK government to press the matter further.
Tony Berkley, RFG chairman, said: "It's extraordinary that the Commission and its consultants can believe that, because the majority of stakeholders are incumbents who do not want their monopolies curtailed, this is the correct way of achieving a liberalised rail freight market. One would not expect turkeys to vote for Christmas." The EC-sponsored report was released at a consultation meeting in Brussels on 7 November.
Berkeley argued that a single market would create great opportunities for companies around Europe and help stimulate volume growth for the mode.
He said: "RFG has welcomed the Commission taking infraction proceedings against member states for failure to implement the First Railway Package, but there is already general acceptance that further legislation is necessary, not least to provide total separation of track and train operations and comprehensive independent regulation.
"These are needed to give the private sector confidence they can invest and operate in a fair single market; without this, the sector will not grow."