Positions 15 Nov 2013

Commission proposal 2013/0297 on rail transport statistics as regards the collection of data on goods, passenger, and accidents

The European Commission published on 30 August 2013 a proposal amending Regulation 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on rail transport statistics. The purpose of this proposal is to modify the existing rail transport regulation, with the aim of updating, simplifying and optimising the existing legal framework.

CER believes that rail transport statistics are important and necessary, as they allow the Commission to monitor rail transport developments, and consequently to propose new legislation or adapt existing ones. The quality and timeliness of such statistics, as well as the identification of the appropriate variables to be collected, are therefore a precondition for good policy making. Eurostat statistics in particular are indispensable, as they are the only official source of reliable transport statistics at member state level.

CER and its members are, simultaneously, providers as well as users of rail transport statistics. In this capacity, CER strongly welcomes the Commission proposal to update, simplify and optimise the existing requirements for rail transport data provision. However, the current proposal is likely to lead to some loss of data quality. CER believes that this quality loss must be carefully monitored to ensure that the trade-off between the needs of data users and the burden of data providers is kept in balance.