The cabinet wants to manage ProRail, which is responsible for the Dutch railway network, better than it is now. For example, it should become clearer that ProRail serves the public interest and trains should run better. The cabinet thinks this is possible if the company becomes a ZBO. Every year, ProRail receives 2 billion euros from the government for maintenance and renewal of the track.
In a letter to the House of Representatives, organizations such as the employers’ organization VNO/NCW, the trade union FNV Spoor, the traveler’s organization Rover and the trade association for public transport companies OV.NL describe their concerns about the plans. According to them, all players around the track are functioning better and better.
Fear that trains will run worse
They point out that improvements are still needed, but ‘a costly and bureaucratic reorganization of ProRail will not contribute to this’. “It even entails significant risks”, say the organizations, who are afraid that the trains will run worse.
Last Sunday things went seriously wrong on the track. Due to an IT failure at the NS, no trains ran all day.
‘Doesn’t solve anything’
The government’s most important adviser, the Council of State (RvS), has also been very critical of the law that ‘does not solve bottlenecks’. In fact, the RvS fears that the law will ultimately ‘impair the performance of the rail sector’.
In their letter, the organizations also complain that the ministry is acting as if their objections have been listened to. According to them, that is not the case. On the contrary, they were not heard for their preservation and alternatives and so their concerns have not been allayed.
The letter of protest is intended to influence opinion in the House of Representatives. The bill will be discussed there shortly.