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Press release 14.09.2009

Opening restrictions puts station safety at risk

“Open shops are better than more security personnel”

station platform Berlin central station


Berlin. The Pro-Rail Alliance is questioning proposals put forward by Berlin’s local authorities to restrict the opening times of shops in the capital’s train stations, including its main station. Late evening and Sunday opening would be banned. “Forcing station shops to close in the evenings and on public holidays would not only reduce the quality of life for passengers, it would also lead to a reduction in security,” said the Pro-Rail Alliance board member Karl-Peter Naumann, citing the death of a passenger at an S-Bahn station in Munich who was attacked and badly beaten.

“Open shops and crowds of people are a better way of maintaining social control at stations than a lot of security personnel,” said Naumann, appealing to Berlin’s senate to exclude all train stations from shop opening regulations.
Naumann, who is also a member of the jury for the ‘Railway Station of the Year’ award, criticised the impending restrictions as “backwards looking”. “Stations where people can buy fresh bread on Sundays or just browse around when the weather is bad are far more likely to be places that will win over potential customers to the environmentally railways.” This is why it will not be enough to just allow longer opening hours for shops that provide for the needs of travellers. “The allegedly unequivocal legal position is actually not very clear at all, a fact demonstrated by Berlin Airport, where all manner of shops have been granted an exception to the trading laws.”


Allianz pro Schiene is the German alliance for the promotion of environmentally friendly and safe rail transport. It unites 16 non-profit organisations: the environmental organisations BUND, NABU, Deutsche Umwelthilfe and NaturFreunde Deutschlands; the consumer groups Pro Bahn, DBV and VCD; the automobile clubs ACE and ACV; the three rail unions TRANSNET, GDBA and GDL as well as the rail organisations BDEF, BF Bahnen, VBB and VDEI. Its member associations represent more than 2 million individual members. Allianz pro Schiene is supported by 93 companies operating in the rail sector.


Dr. Barbara Mauersberg
Press Officer

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