Then – May 2008
Boris Johnson’s first policy announcement, a pledge to ban alcohol on public transport, came under fierce criticism from unions and suffered a further setback when it emerged that the measure could not be implemented across the network. The new Mayor of London said that the plan would improve safety and security on public transport in the capital, but concerns were raised that it would be almost impossible to enforce.
From June 1 2008, passengers will be ordered off Tube trains and buses if they consume alcohol while on board. However, staff working for Transport for London and British Transport Police will not have the power to fine passengers, and officials admitted that there would not be regular patrols of carriages.
Instead, Mr Johnson will rely on a “cultural shift” and self-policing to bring a halt to drinking in the same way that passengers help to enforce the Tube’s no-smoking rules. He said that there would be a “rapid rollout” of another election promise, an extra 440 police community support officers, to help to enforce the plan. “Too many people have the unpleasant experience of sitting opposite someone swigging a can of lager,” Mr Johnson said. The ban will be brought into force by changing the conditions of carriage on London transport, but until it is enshrined in a bylaw, which the mayor said would take about a year, there is no punishment available to transport staff except for ejection.
Transport for London said that the measures applied to all public transport in the capital except on trains serving the national rail network. Peter Hendy, the Transport Commissioner, said that discussions had begun with the Department for Transport in the hope that the national rail network’s bylaws would be reviewed. However, a spokesperson for the DfT said: “We have no plans to introduce these measures on the national network. Train companies already have powers to deal with any antisocial drinking on trains.”
The measure also drew criticism from transport unions, which said that it had not been thought through and that it could endanger staff who approached drunken passengers. Bob Crow, the RMT general secretary, said: “Violence against our members is already a major problem, particularly from people who have been drinking.
“Perhaps the mayor will come out with his underpants on over his trousers like Superman one Saturday to show us how it should be done, and maybe tell a crowd of Liverpool supporters that they can’t drink on the train.”
Now – New Year’s Eve 2008
According to London based Blogger, Liz; http://lizclutterbuck.blogspot.com/2009/01/morning-after-night-when-london-goes.html
Last night also saw mass breaking of Boris Johnson’s law against alcohol on the tube, which initially I thought was great, always good to defy Boris (especially as thanks to him my TravelCard costs more as of tomorrow). I was less keen on it on my way home when I came across several incidences of tube chunder. Honestly, sickness and the tube just should not be combined – I think it’s something every Londoner fears, either feeling sick on the tube & having nowhere to go, or being with someone who gets sick. Ewwww.
Well in the best traditions of self-policing presumably everyone drinking on the tube paid themselves a big fine before imposing a custodial sentence on themselves in their bedrooms! A Great British solution to a Great British problem!