Festive warning over ban on drinking on trains

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Media captionScotRail wants to remind passengers using trains over the festive period of the ban on alcohol

Party-goers and revellers have been warned to stay safe on Scotland's rail network over the festive season.

This year is the first Christmas that the ban on alcohol on trains in the evenings and mornings has been in force.

British Transport Police and ScotRail have launched a campaign to remind people about the rules.

Scotland's police forces have also launched their annual festive crackdown on drinking and driving.

ScotRail's alcohol ban, enforced on its services between 21:00 and 10:00, came into force in the summer.

It was in response to concerns from the travelling public about anti-social behaviour on trains and calls from the Scottish government for action.

'Clear messages'

Ch Supt Ellie Bird, of British Transport Police, said: "We want everyone to have an enjoyable time over Christmas and New Year.

"However, we will be working with all our partners to make sure everyone can get to their office party or other event, and home again safely, and equally as importantly, without hindrance from others."

She added: "There are also those who may over indulge and drink a bit too much. We don't want to spoil your fun, but please be responsible and remember that rail staff are there to help you, not to be abused in any way."

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: "I welcome the public response to the alcohol ban on our trains.

"It sends out clear messages that anti-social behaviour on trains and at stations is unacceptable.

"This latest campaign over the festive period will further focus on education and awareness of the ban, designed to prevent a small minority having a disproportionate negative impact on the majority of passengers."

Suspected offenders

Police chiefs have also backed a month-long campaign targeting those who drink and drive over the festive season.

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (Acpos) said that, while they supported Scottish government proposals to reduce the alcohol limit, people who plan to get behind the wheel should not drink any alcohol at all.

The campaign will see police officers in marked and unmarked vehicles on the look-out for offenders. Information and intelligence will be gathered on possible trouble-spots and potential drink or drug drivers.

The public are also being urged to help by reporting suspected offenders to the police.

A television and radio advertising campaign is being aired to emphasise the consequences of drink driving.

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