Release Date: 18 December 2006
Release ID: 1195
RFG has today written to the Chairman of DB AG, Dr Hartmut Mehdorn, expressing concern about his continuing criticism of the UK railway structure, the competition above rail and growth compared with Germany, and the long list of financial support sought by DB which, on RFG’s opinion, mostly contravene State Aids or First Railway Package legislation and are designed to prevent or restrict other companies from doing business in Germany on a fair and equitable basis.
Dr Mehdorn’s proposals are set out in a letter to a member of the Bundestag's Social Democratic Party (SPD) group responsible for transport policy dated 20 October.
RFG Chairman Tony Berkeley commented ‘ the continuing refusal of DB and the German Government to comply with the First Railway Package and competition law in respect of the railways is constraining the ability of companies from the UK and elsewhere to operate in Germany on a fair and equitable basis. DB uses inaccurate evidence to continue to claim that its vertically integrated structure is better than that of the UK, when the UK has demonstrated higher growth rates, a greater degree of competition above rail, and better service quality. The UK, unlike Germany, has implemented the First Railway Package and has a properly operating competition policy for rail.
‘We are calling on DB and the German Government to take urgent action to operate legally and fairly, and we are urging the European Commission to investigate DB’s failure to comply with the First Railway Package and any breaches of competition law’
The European Rail Freight Association and the European Rail Freight Customer Platform have also written to DB and the European Commission on similar issues.
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