Arriva Netherlands to apply to operate night services to Schiphol Airport
Following new European legislation, Arriva Netherlands is set to apply for three new Open Access routes to operate regional rail night services, including two to Schiphol Airport.
Arriva Netherlands has announced that it is filing an application to operate regional rail Open Access night services, made possible by European legislation which has opened up new opportunities for operators in 2021.
In a unique move within the Dutch market, Arriva is applying for three new Open Access routes, of which two will serve Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with night-time links from Groningen in the north-east and from Maastricht in the south, allowing travel by rail during the night for the first time and connecting with early morning flight departures. This has not previously been possible and has the potential to take cars off the road, reducing local airport traffic and pollution.
Domestic Open Access became possible for the first time at the start of 2021, following the implementation of European Union (EU) legislation and regulatory reform. If approved, Arriva’s proposal could become the first domestic Open Access service in the Netherlands and Arriva’s first market outside of the UK to apply for domestic Open Access operations. This operating model means that the train operator carries all of the associated costs and risks with the services, without any government concession.
Anne Hettinga, Managing Director of Arriva Netherlands and an Arriva Management Board member, commented: “This is a commercially smart way to bring benefits to passengers, connect the rural provinces with the urbanised western part of the country and allow our business to grow by making better use of our existing fleet of trains. Furthermore, these services have the potential to grow the market and the usage of public transport by encouraging people out of their cars.”
“We hope to be given the green light by the Authority for Consumers and Markets so that we can develop our plans. Open Access will be new territory for us, but we relish the opportunity to enhance our passenger offering and add to our portfolio of public transport operations in the Netherlands,” she added.
The proposal has been submitted for consideration by ACM in the Netherlands. If approved, Arriva could start running services in December 2022.