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The Railways Infrastructure (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2016

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Monitoring, suspension and revocation of European licences

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46.—(1) Subject to paragraph (5), this regulation applies to a railway undertaking to which a European licence has been granted.

(2) The Department must take such steps as necessary to enable it to determine whether the railway undertaking complies with the requirement referred to in Schedule 4—

(a)at regular intervals of at least 5 years; or

(b)at any time the Department considers that there is serious doubt whether or not a railway undertaking complies with the requirement.

(3) If, having taken the steps referred to in paragraph (2), the Department is satisfied that a railway undertaking does not comply with any such requirement, it shall revoke the European licence held by the railway undertaking or suspend it.

(4) The Department shall revoke a European licence if proceedings have been commenced for the winding up of a railway undertaking on the grounds that the undertaking is unable to pay its debts and the Department is satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect of satisfactory financial restructuring of the undertaking within a reasonable period of time.

(5) Where the Department is satisfied that there is a serious doubt whether a railway undertaking to which a European licence has been granted by a licensing authority other than itself complies with any requirement of the 2012 Directive, it shall without delay so notify that licensing authority. In this paragraph, the expression “European Licence” means a licence granted pursuant to any action taken by an EEA State for the purposes of implementing the 2012 Directive.

(6) Where the Department has suspended or revoked a European licence solely on the grounds of the non-compliance by the railway undertaking with the requirements of financial fitness specified in Schedule 4 but the Department considers that there is a realistic prospect of a satisfactory financial restructuring of the undertaking taking place within a reasonable period of time, it may grant to the undertaking a temporary European licence pending such financial restructuring.

(7) A temporary European licence under paragraph (6) shall not be granted—

(a)where the Department considers that safety would be jeopardised, or

(b)for a period exceeding six months.

(8) Where a railway undertaking to which a European licence has been granted has either ceased the operations to which the licence relates for a continuous period of six months or, subject to paragraph (9), has not commenced such operations within six months of the date of such grant, then the Department may either require the railway undertaking to resubmit its European licence to the Department for approval or suspend the European licence.

(9) When making an application for a European licence, or where the Department has required a railway undertaking to resubmit its European licence in pursuance of paragraph (8) on the grounds that the railway undertaking has not commenced such operations, the railway undertaking shall be entitled to request that a period longer than six months be granted in which it can commence operations, taking into account the specific nature of the services to be provided.

(10) In the event of a change affecting the legal situation of a railway undertaking, in particular following a change in the control or ownership of the railway undertaking as a result of a merger with or take-over by another undertaking, the Department may require the railway undertaking to submit the European licence to the Department for approval.

(11) Where a European licence is submitted for approval pursuant to paragraph (10), the railway undertaking may continue operations whilst its European licence is under review unless the Department decides that safety is jeopardised by the change referred to in paragraph (10).

(12) If the Department decides that safety is jeopardised by that change, it shall notify the railway undertaking of its decision and of the grounds for it.

(13) When a railway undertaking intends significantly to change or extend its activities from those in respect of which a European licence was granted to it, the railway undertaking shall submit its European licence to the Department for review.

(14) When the Department amends, suspends or revokes a European licence it shall forthwith inform the European Railway Agency of such an amendment, suspension or revocation.

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