Boris booze blitz ‘barmy’!

12 May 2008

London mayor Boris Johnson has announced that he intends to ban all alcohol from the capital’s Tube system next month. ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman said this amounts to ‘policies without planning’. ‘It just hasn’t been thought through,’ Keith said.


‘Isn’t it ludicrous, for example, that passengers travelling through London from the north to the south coast are merrily sold drink on the train going to London, then it’s banned completely from Euston to Victoria, and then it’s being marketed again south of the city!


‘And has no one realised that the real problem is not drinking on the tube – it is people who have already been drinking coming onto the tube.’


ASLEF’s London officer Steve Grant said that the move should be halted until a number of questions have been answered. He cites in particular:


Has there been any assessment of the change in risk of staff assaults from telling people to stop drinking?


Will LUL want a train to remain stationary until the police have arrived to deal with a Tube drinker?


Are there resources to implement this policy?


Will the authorities turn a blind eye for events like the Notting Hill Carnival or New Year’s Eve celebrations?


The union will seek to have responses to these questions before 1 June when (nominally if not in practice) drinking from, and carrying, open containers of alcohol will be banned.


‘There is no point having a regulation if you’ve no intention of implementing it,’ Steve says. ‘This is headline grabbing, not policy making.’

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