June 25th 2012
ScotRail is banning alcohol on its night trains, the operator has announced.
Carrying and drinking alcohol on the company's trains will be banned between 9pm and 10am, and passengers may be refused travel if under the influence of alcohol under the new rules.
Scottish ministers have supported the train operator’s drive to reduce anti-social behaviour.
Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said: “Anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol has no place on our trains or at stations. Customers should be able to travel in a safe and friendly environment.
“It’s time to call a halt on the irresponsible minority who spoil journeys for the majority. These individuals disrupt services, abuse staff and fellow customers, and cause accidents.”
A ScotRail review uncovered at least 260 incidents in the last six months alone when British Transport Police have responded to drink-related incidents.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill welcomed the actions. He said: “We want everyone to enjoy themselves on nights out, but consideration for others is also vitally important. A journey home on a train shouldn't be a worrying or upsetting experience for any passenger.
“I welcome the decision by ScotRail to act on those concerns, which will greatly benefit and reassure responsible passengers and encourage more people to use public transport. It sends out a message loud and clear that drunken, loutish behaviour on our trains will no longer be tolerated.
ScotRail will now launch a four-week campaign to make customers aware of the impending ban from July 20.
The ban will be enforced by British Transport Police (BTP) through the national Railway Byelaws, which allow train operators to stop people in a state of intoxication from travelling, and to publicly declare that certain services are so-called ‘dry trains’ where the consumption and carrying of alcohol are banned.
The only exception to the 9pm - 10am rule will be the overnight Caledonian Sleeper train to and from London.
ScotRail has confirmed that customers’ bags will not be searched before or during their journeys.