Friday, 30 May 2008

Alcohol Free London Transport

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago London’s new Mayor, Boris Johnson, promised to ban alcohol on public transport. Well, he has kept his promise and from Sunday 1st June alcohol will no longer be allowed on buses, tubes, DLR and the multitude of stations across London.

According to various reports and statements from the Transport Police and Transport for London officials, anyone consuming alcohol will first be reminded of the new ban and will only be ejected if they refuse to heed the warning. It is good to know that there will not be a heavy-handed approach at first but with the huge number of posters on display warning travellers of the ban, there shouldn’t be any excuse.

Various groups have been set up on social networks encouraging people to “enjoy” one last night of drinking on the tube tomorrow. This seems like a pretty pointless exercise, intended for inane publicity rather than genuine protest. Let’s hope it doesn’t get out of hand. Personally, I can imagine nothing worse than getting drunk on the tube; packed in the carriage with too many strangers and a cacophony of unpleasant smells and alcohol fumes is not my idea of a good night out!

Anyway, I think BoJo should be congratulated on moving quickly with this particular election pledge. I don’t know anyone who relishes the prospect of sitting near someone on public transport with an open can of lager. They may well be harmless, but it is the uncertainty which is unsettling. I haven’t felt insecure travelling on public transport in recent months but any measures to help Londoners and visitors feel safe in the city has got to be a good thing.

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