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No-deal Brexit could threaten Channel rail freight

THE Rail Freight Group is putting pressure on the European Commission to improve the measures it is taking to safeguard rail services through the Channel Tunnel, in case of a no-deal Brexit in four weeks from now.

The RFG said the present measures ‘focus exclusively on the validity of safety licences for cross-border rail infrastructure managers’, which would mean that there would still be a risk of ‘severe disruption’ from the end of this month.

Companies in the rail freight sector are calling on the Commission to take further action urgently, and make sure that railway undertakings have valid safety certificates and licences as required by three European Directives. 

The RFG wants a transitional period of 12 months to allow enough time to arrange revised licencing arrangements, which would be similar to those for road, sea and air transport.

RFG director general Maggie Simpson said: ‘Although we hope that the UK government and the EU will avoid a no-deal exit, we must have the necessary provisions to ensure that vital freight trains can continue to operate.

‘We welcome the move from the Commission to start establishing this framework, but this must be concluded as a matter of urgency and include all the necessary provisions to keep trains moving.’

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