Passenger Association TreinTramBus regrets the chaos with stranded train passengers last Friday evening at Ostend station, but does not want measures such as reservation for trains to the coast that make it extra difficult for travelers, but better handling of emergency situations. “A reservation system would not have solved Friday’s problems,” said chairman Stefan Stynen.
TrainTramBus calls on train passengers to always respect the agreements on social distancing and to always follow the instructions of the personnel and security services. However, according to the organization, the measures that Mayor Bart Tommelein is now proposing are not a solution to Friday’s problem. “Scrapping the extra trains will result in higher occupancy in the IC trains, and that absolutely cannot be the intention,” says Stefan Stynen.
Not an amusement park
The traveler association resolutely rejects a reservation system for these trains. “The comparison with an amusement park does not make sense. Amusement parks have only one or a few entrances, but you can take the train to the coast in dozens of stations. Moreover, it is not socially desirable, because you disadvantage the users of public transport compared to those who can afford private transport. A reservation system would not have solved Friday’s problems. ”
Passenger central to emergency plan
Emergency handling such as Friday needs to be much better organized. «Why did the police stop train traffic for 2 hours? Why were the waiting travelers not better informed? ”Stynen argues. “We have long insisted that SNCB put the traveler at the center of its emergency plans.”
TrainTramBus also wants Infrabel to stop breaking out switches and alternative tracks, because they can be useful when a certain track cannot be used.