EU Policy and Engagement Group
Chair: Garry White (Network Rail)
RDG Lead: Laura Wright
The purpose of EU strategy is to mitigate the risks and maximise the opportunities arising from European policy, legislation and collaboration. We aim to maintain and enhance RDG’s reputation with all those engaged in the EU public policy and regulatory process.
In particular, we support the opportunities for Europe to move towards a more liberalised sector where rail can grow its market share, deliver value and improve services for passenger and freight customers alike.
We believe that the experience of liberalisation of our rail industry in the 1990s and the subsequent increases in rail freight and passenger journeys can inform this debate.
We welcome the opportunity to share our experience so that others in Europe can benefit. For these reasons we have been a strong supporter of the principles behind the 4th Railway Package, which seeks to further liberalise the European rail market.
In addition, there are also European regulatory and policy initiatives that can have negative impacts on our railway. That's why we closely monitor developments on a wide variety of issues to seek to ensure the best outcome for passengers and freight companies. For example, we have sought to moderate some of the 4th Rail Package proposals to ensure we can continue with our efficient procedures and working practices.
Other topics include European Union rules on access charges, passenger rights, accessibility requirements for people of reduced mobility, technical interoperability standards and access to transport information.
RDG is working with its members, the government and stakeholders in Brussels to prepare for the UK leaving the EU and the impact this will have on the rail industry. As a sector that imports and exports both goods and services, moves people across borders and possesses mainland Britain’s only physical link to the Continent, getting Brexit right for the rail industry will also be a barometer for whether the deal will enable Britain to prosper in the decades ahead.
The good news is that one railway, working together, is well placed to deal with future challenges. Already, it is delivering improvements to the service it provides, making journeys better and in doing so supporting local communities.
Our railway is the backbone of the British economy. It employs around 240,000 people, moves 4.5 million people around Britain each day and 86 million tonnes of freight each year. It spreads wealth to every part of the country. If Brexit supports investment in this vital service, and enables rail manufacturers to prosper, the deal will put Britain on the right track in a post-Brexit world.