Another case of lunacy!

By | Category: Travel rumblings

We’ve had some pretty idiotic regulations over the years but the latest from the European Court of Justice is a beauty. Now rail passengers are entitled to a refund of a quarter of the price of their fare if a train is delayed for up to two hours due to bad weather. Over two hours and they get 50% of their fare back.

I’m all for passengers’ rights when an airline, an airport, a cruise ship or even a train company makes a mess of things but this ruling is ludicrous. When train companies are able to manipulate the weather, fine let this law come into being. Until then no company should be made liable if it cannot remedy the situation.

Remember the volcanic ash problems of a few years ago? Then the EU said that airlines were liable. And I wrote then in CD-Traveller that I thought this was a strange view of life. The same issue has arisen. This new ruling means that every railway company in Europe is affected. If copper cable is nicked for scrap and the loss means that the east or west coast lines can’t function, then the railway is liable. If a few feet of snow falls in a short period, the railway is liable. If a river floods and a bridge is impassable the railway is liable.

Guess who will end up paying the bill? Yes, we passengers because the train companies will build some margin into the annual fare prices. And why shouldn’t they? If they can’t control it why shouldn’t they try and insure against it?

This seems an absurd and unfair ruling

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