Almost the entire room against more rail competition

Almost the entire room against more rail competition


NOS . News

The vast majority of House members are not in favor of allowing more competition on rail. Almost all parties fear that more market forces will lead to fragmentation and poor services for travelers.

European rules state that organizations other than the NS must also be given the opportunity to travel on the so-called main rail network. Commercial service providers like Arriva, who already operate a number of regional lines, are interested in this. Furthermore, NS is at risk of losing night routes and external connections. Those foreign lines are very profitable.

“Our complex network is not suitable for large-scale privatization,” Harry van der Meulen, MP for the Christian Democrats, said in a debate in the House of Representatives. PVV, D66, SP, PvdA, GroenLinks, Party for the Animals and ChristenUnie also look at it this way. Many parties fear the “dismantling” of the NS. VVD only believes that market forces can lead to improvements in railways.

Awarded by the private sector

The House and Cabinet want the NS, of which the state is 100 percent owned, to be given the right to travel on the major rail network “in private.” This means that there will be no public tender that other carriers can participate in as well. The new franchise period runs from 2025 to 2035.

State Secretary Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Department) explained to the House of Representatives that the European Commission has “question marks” about the size of the network given to NS. The Commission also wants the Netherlands to first carry out a market analysis. If this does not happen, there is a good chance that “Brussels will declare our country in default”.

market analysis

Many parties believe that the Secretary of State should not be subject to European requirements. But according to Henin, there is a real chance that the Netherlands will lose the case, which could take years, and that NS may only be able to give a smaller part of the rail network privately.

That is why she is now considering a market analysis, in order to get clarification regarding NS in the short term. What ultimately happens to the results of the analysis will also depend on what the House of Representatives thinks about it, Haegen said. According to her, it is not so that such an investigation irreversibly opens the door to more market forces on the railways.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top