|Publisher:||Department for Transport|
|Published date:||21 July 2011|
|Mode/topic:||Rail, Rail interoperability|
A summary of current interoperability legislation and progress on transposition of the latest Interoperability Directive in Great Britain.
Directives, Regulations and Decisions on interoperability are made by the European Commission and published in its Official Journal. They provide a supporting legislative framework for implementation of the rail elements of the European transport strategy. These are binding on all European Union Member States, and unless they are directly applicable, the United Kingdom must transpose their requirements into domestic legislation.
A full list of all European interoperability measures is available from http://ec.europa.eu/transport/rail/interoperability/interoperability_en.htm.
Before 2008 when the recast Interoperability Directive(2008/57/EC)was introduced, there were two principal Interoperability Directives, each of which has been amended by a further Directive:
- Consolidated High Speed Directive (96/48/EC) (PDF – 122 KB)
- Consolidated Conventional Directive (2001/16/EC) (PDF – 140 KB)
In addition, Directive 2007/32/EC subsequently replaced Annex VI of both Directives.
The High Speed and Conventional Directives were transposed into domestic legislation by the:
Further amendments have been made to these regulations by the:
- Railways (Interoperability) (Amendment) Regulations 2007
- Rail Vehicle Accessibility (Interoperable Rail System) Regulations 2008
In 2008, the European Commission published a recast Interoperability Directive which consolidated and amended the existing Directives into a single instrument. Part of the Railway Safety Directive (2004/49/EC) was also incorporated and two further amending Directives 2009/131/EC and 2011/18/EU have subsequently been published.
Following a number of stakeholder workshops and seminars held to inform the transposition process, the Department held two consultation exercises.
Responses, and subsequent meetings with stakeholders, informed the development of a second consultation, held between March and June 2010, which included draft regulations, draft guidance and a partial impact assessment.
However, shortly after the completion of this second consultation exercise, the European Commission announced its intention to develop new guidance on the authorisation process for structural subsystems and vehicles to inform Member States’ transposition of the recast Interoperability Directive. That guidance therefore represents a draft recommendation on how to implement the Directive, and as such, it will be necessary for the United Kingdom to take this into account during its transposition process.
The European Commission published its (2011/217) recommendation in March 2011. We are considering its implications and may need to undertake a possible further public consultation exercise to include revised draft regulations. On this basis, it is anticipated that regulations revoking and replacing the Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2006 will come into force towards the end of 2011.
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