TRAINS: Higher penalties for drinking  to improve women’s safety

Passengers caught drinking alcohol on ScotRail trains could face higher penalties as part of moves to improve the safety of women and girls on Scotland’s rail network

The move is among recommendations in a report commissioned by transport minister Jenny Gilruth who pledged to tackle the “systematic problem” which made many women feel unsafe travelling by train and bus.

The Transport Scotland report said alcohol and drugs “featured in a lot of the descriptions of incidents that had or would make women feel unsafe” and “were seen to fuel much of the inappropriate behaviour that women and girls were exposed to and caused anxiety due to how unpredictable others became as a result”.

It recommended: “To strengthen existing rules around non-consumption of alcohol on public transport and at points of interchange. Increased penalties for non-compliance and better enforcement of legislation in this regard may also be required.”

The report found that passengers who had been drinking were a key factor in women feeling unsafe travelling by train. Picture: John Devlin
The report found that passengers who had been drinking were a key factor in women feeling unsafe travelling by train. Picture: John Devlin

ScotRail banned the drinking of alcohol after 9pm in 2012 and extended it round the clock in 2020.

The report said: “Almost all respondents noted a perception of heightened risk to themselves where other passengers were intoxicated because they were seen as being more likely to say or do inappropriate things.

“Journeys made in and out of both Glasgow and Edinburgh city centres were described as particularly “hairy” (or scary) late at night and especially at weekends when a large proportion of fellow passengers had been drinking alcohol or were intoxicated.”

However, the report added that one young woman was keen to point out that: “It’s not always men that are drunk that do it [make women feel unsafe]. Sometimes it’s men that appear to be sober.”

Top picture: Dumbarton Central Station pictured after dark.

One comment

  1. When travelling on trains, especially intercity, or long rural routes, it is not uncommon to have something to eat and can of beer or a glass of wine. Very popular on the routes from northern Scotland to Glasgow or Edinburgh – routes such as Oban to Glasgow, Inverness to Glasgow, Kyle to Glasgow et al.

    Not at all unpleasant, in fact absolutely desirable as one watches the countryside roll by. And now the SNP are going to ban it.

    And the same party are now going to ban all advertising of alcohol. More fascist health diktats from the Scottish Natzi Party which moreover will cost many many jobs.

    GRR, banning of cars from cities through LEZ’s, mandatory Trans education for schoolkids, its all part of the SNP focus whilst the NHS collapses around us,

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