Words and photo by Dave Barry
Drunks on trains to Scarborough may be thrown off, if the police and rail company have their way.
Passengers will be asked “to demonstrate that [their] ability to walk has not been impaired by alcohol or drugs”.
A fit-to-travel policy is being applied to trains running on Saturday evenings and bank-holiday Sunday and Monday evenings.
Everyone on the York to Scarborough train after 6pm will have to look fit to travel, according to TransPennine Express, working in partnership with British Transport Police and York City Neighbourhood Police.
“If you are planning on visiting York in the run-up to Christmas, please ensure that you comply with this policy”, the partners say. “Otherwise you may find that you are denied travel home”.
Everyone who has taken a late train from York to Scarborough, especially at weekends, knows that the company can range from lively and entertaining to threatening and intimidating.
Responding to the policy, a woman wrote on York police’s Facebook page: “I travelled on a train after 8pm on a Saturday and it was stinking with mortal drunks. Puke all over and vile offensive language in front of my then 11 year old. The women were worse than the men. And the guard never came down the train to check anything. Drink and food everywhere. I would never chance it again”.
Another commentator said: “This is a worryingly curious one. I can't find mention of it on the TPE website. How would they enforce it anyway, and why not at all times?”