The Regulatory Supervision Chamber of the CNMC published its report this morning on the declaration of the railway network of Adif and Adif High Speed for 2021, in which it ensures maximum use of the roads despite the critical situation for traffic caused by the pandemic. To do this, it calls on Renfe and its future competitors in high speed, SNCF (through the Ouigo brand) e ILSA, demanding that they be transparent to Adif itself about the capacity they are going to deploy.
On May 11, the framework capacity agreements were signed by which the three operators guarantee space in the network throughout ten years. Subsequently, on August 5, Adif published the remaining capacity in the three high-speed axes that have focused the liberalization of passenger transport: Madrid-South, Madrid-Levante and Madrid-French border. In 2021, Renfe’s first rival, Ouigo, is expected to appear on the market. It will be on March 15, according to the management of the French, with low cost services between Madrid and Barcelona.
In the event of force majeure, the operators could modify or terminate the framework agreement with Adif (fourth clause of the agreements). But the CNMC recalls that RE 2016/545 states that companies must inform with agility of any modification on your planning to the infrastructure manager. However, the very agreements signed by the operators with Adif do not foresee this notification in advance of reductions in the request for paths with respect to the committed capacity. A fact that, according to the CNMC, “prevents the unused capacity from being included in the offer of remaining framework capacity for its eventual request for the signing of new framework agreements by other candidates,” it complains in its report.
The CNMC emphasizes in this regard that Adif Alta Velocidad must verify that, indeed, there is justification for the application of the force majeure clause, which in the case of the current health crisis is clear, including both the motivation such as time duration.
Requirement to Transport
The supervisor once again calls attention to the need for Adif to have the indicative strategy document, as indicated in article 5 of the Law of the Railway Sector, to mark the priorities of activity and investment in the railway network within a period of five years.
In this way, the Adif’s financial needs and public contributions to undertake works, such as the closure of different corridors, as well as the effects on traffic that will motivate these projects.
On July 27, the Ministry of Transport took a step forward in the processing of this strategy in the railway field by sending the proposal to the Ministry of Ecological Transition for its supervision. “It is necessary to reiterate the need for the indicative strategy to be approved as soon as possible and, given the impact on the matters subject to supervision by the CNMC, it be referred to this Commission for observations in the hearing process,” the CNMC requests the Government.
The report on the network statement also has an impact on the project for detach railway charges from the General State Budgets, with which Adif would gain flexibility to program prices for a five-year period, giving operators greater visibility. It would also gain agility to discount traffic based on demand.