New air quality strategy in Great Britain #CLIMATE PROTECTION
The British Government confirmed its final air quality strategy in July 2017. The strategy requires local authorities to develop plans to improve air quality where the existing legal limits are exceeded. Local authorities have until March 2018 to submit their plans to the UK Government on how they will improve air quality, with those plans being confirmed by November 2018. DB Arriva is working with local authorities to minimize the policy risk of restricting the use of older and more polluting buses and taking advantage of government funding opportunities to retrofit existing vehicles, procure new low-emissions buses and adopt local strategies to support bus travel.
Regulatory changes in Italy
The Italian Antitrust Authority (AGCM) stated that the “national railway license” effectively restricts the ability of newcomers to participate in tenders for service contracts; in addition, the same authority issued, together with the Anti-Bribery Authority (ANAC) and the Transport Regulation Authority (ART), a joint decision which requires more transparency and competition in the direct award of rail service contracts by public transport authorities. Starting from 2018, public financing (by the Government) of local passenger transport became stable. The rules for opening up the market and better public financing are decisive for DB Arriva Italy.
Developments in market access in the Netherlands
The new government in the Netherlands will start evaluating the transport license in the main rail network, now directly awarded to NS, in 2019. In order to promote a regionally integrated approach to public transport solutions and to improve connections between different modes of transport, slower train connections could be transferred from the main railway concession to regional concession in the future. However, in the three largest urban regions of the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague) the tender is not mandatory for transport authorities in the cities. The government has already agreed upon four extra regional railway services to be separated from the main rail network concession; when and how this will be implemented is to be made clear before the summer of 2018. There are good opportunities for DB Arriva as competitive tendering is expected for these services. The government has stressed that it will pass laws to promote the development of flexible and demand-driven public transport (“mobility as a service” approach). This offers DB Arriva extra growth opportunities. In addition, the high-speed line between Amsterdam and Rotterdam, Breda and possibly Antwerp and Brussels, could be put out to tender if Dutch railways continue to perform below average. This process is unpredictable but could possibly already begin as of 2018 or 2019.