The 20th Meeting of the Passenger Accessibility Solutions Support and Action Group for Europe (PASSAGE) Working Group was held at Paris UIC Headquarters, on 20 and 21 October. The meeting was hosted by Mr Luis Casado Presa, Senior Advisor within the UIC Passenger Department.
Representatives from NS, ATOC, SNCF, NMBS/SNCB, SBB/CFF/FFS, DSB, Trafikverket, CFL, MAV-START, Trenitalia, RFI, CER, and ČD attended the meeting in which Hans Christian Kirketerp-Møller, from DSB, was elected as new chairman of the group.
Many different topics were addressed during this meeting: Marie Denninghaus, from EDF (European Disability Forum) who had been invited to this meeting, made a summary of the main objectives and activities of her organisation. Her presentation led to a debate about the European Disability Card the European Commission has launched, and the possible effects on the railway companies and their accessibility policies.
The last version of UIC Leaflet 145, Recommendations for the organization of assistance services for persons with reduced mobility, was presented to the participants. This leaflet has been created by the group to become a minimum standard for accessibility services in railway companies. After its approval by the Commercial and Distribution Forum, it will be published and available on the new UIC website.
As is usual during these meetings, the participants gave an updated view on the situation of PRMs in their countries and the new developments of accessibility policies in their companies. Finally, future projects of the group were also discussed, and it was agreed to keep on working on some of these ideas so they will take shape over the next year.
The next meeting will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from 8 – 9 March 2016.