Petition Closed

(Hrvatski dolje) Every year, thousands of people come from other European countries to Croatia's beautiful coast for holidays by train or use the train to visit their relatives and friends. But as of December this year, cross-border train travel to and from Croatia is about to get a whole lot more difficult: Croatian Railways has announced http://www.hznet.hr/medunarodni-prijevoz that it is to cut 44 out of 56 daily international services (update - now 32, see below), and even two of the remaining ones would run in summer only.

Rail is the most environmentally acceptable mode of long-distance transport, with relatively low pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. In Europe many people also consider it a pleasant and comfortable way to travel. It is therefore not surprising that the European Union – which Croatia is joining next year – has a transport policy stipulating that by 2050 most medium-distance passenger travel should be by rail. It is ironic that, at a time when Croatia is joining the EU, its rail policy is going in the other direction.

This makes rail travel drastically more inconvenient. It also makes ordinary people pay for mistakes that have been made by Croatian Railways and the Croatian government. For years the Croatian government has put many more resources into motorway construction than into investing in rail, and the result is that many people use cars on routes where they could go by train. Likewise Croatian Railways has for too long avoided making improvements in service and efficiency, and has failed to sufficiently advertise its services.

Join us in calling on Croatian Railways and the Croatian Government to reconsider their decision to cut cross-border rail services. And don't forget to add a comment: Do you come to Croatia by rail on holiday? Or have you been planning to? Do you regularly visit friends and relatives in neighbouring countries by train? Are you maybe a cyclist who likes to travel some of the route by rail and for whom buses are not a viable alternative?

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Svake godine tisuće ljudi iz ostalih europskih zemalja vlakom dolazi na odmor na prekrasnu hrvatsku obalu ili u posjetu rođacima i prijateljima. No, od prosinca ove godine prekogranična putovanja vlakom u Hrvatsku i iz nje postat će puno teža - Hrvatske željeznice najavile su http://www.hznet.hr/medunarodni-prijevoz ukidanje 44 od 56 (update - sada 32, vidjete dolje) dnevnih međunarodnih linija, a dvije od preostalih prometovat će samo ljeti.

Željeznica je, s relativno niskim zagađenjem i emisijom stakleničkih plinova, okolišno najprihvatljiviji način prijevoza na veće udaljenosti. Također, u Europi mnogi ljudi smatraju da je to ugodan i udoban način putovanja. Stoga ne čudi da je Europska unija – kojoj se Hrvatska pridružuje sljedeće godine - usvojila prometnu politiku koja propisuje da se do 2050. godine većina putničkog prometa na srednje udaljenosti treba odvijati željeznicom. Ironično je da, u vrijeme kada Hrvatska ulazi u EU, njezina željeznička politika ide u suprotnom smjeru.

Ove promjene drastično će otežati putovanje vlakom. To također znači da će građani ispaštati zbog grešaka koje su učinile uprave Hrvatskih željeznica i Vlada Republike Hrvatske. Godinama su hrvatske Vlade ulagale mnogo više sredstava u izgradnju autoceste nego željeznicu, a rezultat je nepotrebno korištenje automobila na relacijama kojima se može putovati vlakom. Isto tako, Hrvatske željeznice predugo su izbjegavale poboljšanja u uslugama i učinkovitosti te nisu dovoljno oglašavale svoje usluge.

Pridružite nam se u pozivu Hrvatskim željeznicama i Vladi RH da preispitaju svoju odluku o ukidanju međunarodnih željezničkih linija. Ne zaboravite dodati vlastiti komentar: Dolazite li vlakom na odmor u Hrvatsku? Planirate li činiti to u budućnosti? Posjećujete li rodbinu ili prijatelje u susjednim zemljama vlakom? Jeste li možda biciklist/ica koji/a voli putovati na nekim od navedenih linija i za koje autobusi nisu održiva alternativa?

 

 

Letter to
Director, Croatian Railways Passenger Transport Mr Dražen Ratković
Minister of Maritime affairs, transport and infrastructure Mr Siniša Hajdaš Dončić
Assistant Minister, MPPI and President of Croatian Railways Supervisory Board Mr Jasmin Krizmanić
and 1 other
Minister for the Protection of the Environment and Nature Mr Mihael Zmajlović
(Hrvatski dolje)

I am writing to ask you to reconsider the planned cuts to international passenger rail lines to and from Croatia that are due to be implemented starting from December 2012.

Cutting up to 32 out of 56 daily services is an extremely drastic step that, far from raising passenger numbers in the remaining trains as Croatian Railways is hoping, is more likely to drive existing passengers to use cars, planes or buses. This is contrary to the European Union's transport policy, which states that “By 2050 the majority of medium-distance passenger transport should go by rail”, (EU White Paper on Transport, 2011) in order to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

In particular, in a tourism-dominated country like Croatia, international railways are a crucial way for visitors to arrive in the country without creating additional road traffic. Cutting services – particularly in the summer – will either discourage people from visiting Croatia or lead yet more visitors to come by car or coach.

It is clear that there is a need for Croatian Railways to find ways to cut its costs, and there may be a justification for cutting a few of the very least used services. However in most cases, with more effort put into marketing, speeding up border crossing procedures, ensuring good connections with other trains and local buses, and ensuring that tracks and trains are in good condition, it should be possible to boost passenger numbers within a relatively short period and avoid such drastic service cuts. In addition, a reduction in international fares to make them similar to domestic Croatian ticket prices (per kilometre) would help enormously to boost the competitiveness of cross-border trains.

I therefore urge you to review these plans and do everything in your power to maintain and improve Croatia's rail connections with its neighbours rather than cutting them.

Sincerely,

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Pišem Vam s molbom da preispitate planirano ukidanje međunarodnih željezničkih linija u Hrvatsku i iz nje, koje će prema najavama uslijediti u prosincu 2012. godine.

Ukidanje 32 od postojećih 56 dnevnih linija radikalan je korak koji će vjerojatnije odvratiti i preostale putnike u automobile, autobuse ili avione, nego što će povećati broj putnika na preostalim linijama, kako se Hrvatske željeznice nadaju. Odluka o ukidanju linija u suprotnosti je s transportnom politikom Europske unije koja određuje: “Do 2050. godine većina putničkog prometa na srednje udaljenosti treba se odvijati željeznicom”, (Bijela knjiga EU o prometu, 2011.) kako bi se smanjilo zagađenje i emisije stakleničkih plinova iz prometa.

U zemlji poput Hrvatske, kojoj je turizam od izuzetnog značaja, međunarodne željezničke veze ključne su u dovođenju turista u zemlju bez stvaranja dodatnog prometa na cestama, a ukidanje linija će, osobito ljeti, ili obeshrabriti ljude od dolaska u Hrvatsku ili povećati broj ljudi koji dolaze automobilom ili avionom.

Jasno je da Hrvatske željeznice moraju pronaći način da smanje gubitke te se zato opravdanim može smatrati ukidanje nekoliko linija koje su najmanje popunjene. Međutim, za većinu ovih linija moguće je povećati broj putnika u relativno kratkom vremenu kada bi se uložilo više truda u promidžbu, ubrzalo granične procedure, uskladilo povezanost s drugim vlakovima i lokalnim autobusnim linijama i osiguralo redovito održavanje vlakova i tračnica. Time bi se moglo izbjeći ovakvo drastično ukidanje međunarodnih linija. Uz to, smanjenje cijena na međunarodnim linija i njihovo približevanje cijenama po kilometru na domaćim linijama drastično bi povećalo komeptitivnost međunarodnih vlakova.

Pozivam Vas da preispitate ove namjere i učinite sve što je u Vašoj moći da umjesto ukidanja linija zadržimo i unaprijedimo željezničke veze Hrvatske sa susjednim zemljama.

Srdačan pozdrav,