Bid to ban alcohol on Merseyrail trains

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© Carlos62 / Flickr

© Carlos62 / Flickr

Merseyrail is clamping down on public drinking in a bid to ban completely all drinking of alcohol on their trains and in stations within their network.

The ban on alcohol consumption on Merseyrail service is currently in force only during the Christmas period or special event days, such as Mathew Street Festival or the Grand National.

If agreed, the ban would be a permanent fixture, similar to the policy in place on London Underground trains since 2008.

In 2011 there were 92 alcohol-related accidents on the Merseyrail network, as well as 71 incidents at underground stations. However following the introduction of the Travel Safe Policy, 2012 saw a significant reduction in these figures.

Kaj Mook, director of customer service for Merseyrail, said: “Since the start of the Travel Safe campaign and people being refused access to the network because they are unfit to travel, there has been a significant drop in the number of alcohol-related passenger accidents and staff assaults.”

Presently, consumption of alcohol on an open vessel is legal and passengers can only be removed if they are being aggressive, indecent or disruptive.

Following Merseyrail’s announcement, JMU Journalism asked rail-users opinions on the new proposed law.

Heather Cotterill, 21, from Rainhill, said: “It is a good idea, it’d be less dangerous and not as awkward for those people who are travelling alone.”

Steve Barber, of Widnes, said: “Get it banned! I don’t use trains that often but everytime I do there always seems to be a negative atmosphere due to someone drinking or being drunk.

“Then starts the verbal abuse and it makes people feel really uneasy. If they make me feel awkward, I’m sure a mother and baby, or the elderly, must feel frightened.”

James Winstanley, 24, of St Helens, said: “It should have been done years ago.”

About Michaela Shaw, JMU Journalism