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RSSB proposes banning alcohol on the rail network

Alcohol should be banned on trains to help prevent passenger accidents, according to a report from the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

The Platform Train Interface Strategy, which looks at ways to cut down on accidents on platforms and when boarding trains, cites ‘intoxication’ as a factor in 21 of the 32 deaths in the past 10 years and says drunkenness is involved in nearly 10% of all incidents.

The RSSB said it will produce a “formalised agreement” on the management of intoxicated passengers for Network Rail, station and train staff, and that they will look at the possibility of banning the sale of alcohol on trains.

The report reads: “This formalised agreement will be supported by investigation into additional legislation and policy that could be used to support the management of intoxicated passengers, for example banning the sale and consumption of alcohol on trains (similar to TfL).”

Drinking on the London Underground was outlawed in 2008 in by mayor Boris Johnson, in an effort to drive down crime on the network.

Bruce Williamson of Railfuture told the Evening Standard he was pleased safety improvements were being examined but thought an alcohol ban was the wrong approach.

"It does seem a bit drastic," he said. "There must be a more sensible solution than banning alcohol. It seems like a blunderbuss approach. It's right that they are addressing the issue but we also need to consider the possibility that someone turns up [at the station] drunk.

"I'm not convinced it's the right way forward, but I'm pleased that improvements and quality of life for passengers is being looked at."

(Library image by David Jones)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email [email protected]



Kevin Holt   24/02/2015 at 13:03

This will only encourage people ( Those who can't go a short period of time without the need for a drink) to try and sneek it onboard. That will then lead to conflicts with the public and or the guard. I'm not sure that many actually get drunk when on a train as opposed to arriving already drunk.

Rupert Le Bere   27/02/2015 at 13:41

the advantages and pleasures of travelling by train and leaving the car at home includes the freedom to do so in a relaxing environment and (sometimes) enjoy a beer or glass of wine. Don't let the misanthropes who wrongly attribute all wrongdoing to alcohol deprive us of this. The RSSB needs to get the balance right and not pander to political correctness.

Tim   27/02/2015 at 14:19

By this logic, all alcohol should be banned everywhere, because it's bad for us and causes accidents. Moderation is the name of the game.

Colin Thompson   27/02/2015 at 14:33

Firstly I agree with the views already submitted on this topic. I used to have great respect for RSSB but this one has undercut this very severely. Once again, the responsible compliant majority will soon be paying-for the (admittedly growing) minority who are clearly unable to behave in an even basic civilised manner even without the alcohol factor. RSSB's restrictive and irrational view could actually be extended - ad absurdum - to aver that, as trains sometimes fatally collide with or electrocute track staff, trespassers and members of the public on level crossings and of course on station platforms, this is a far-too dangerous state of affairs - THEREFORE, LET'S NOT HAVE TRAINS!

Lesf   28/02/2015 at 01:29

People don't get drunk on the railway; they arrive at the station drunk. If rail staff don't have the power to refuse passage to drunks, they should be given them. Enforcement would then be progressive, firstly by writing to drunk passengers with warnings. It will take time, as it did to persuade the public to use car seat belts. A blunt instrument such as banning alcohol sales on the railway, will not help.

Phil Cooper   28/02/2015 at 22:06

I wonder what the Train Operators (firms that make money out of selling alcohol on trains) think of this idea.

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