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Tube booze ban for London

An alcohol ban on London's public transport system, designed to make it safer, could put its staff in greater danger.

by: Michael Holden: Reuters | 05 Jun 2008

The ban was a key manifesto pledge of new mayor Boris Johnson's election campaign, and just days after his victory over Ken Livingstone, he announced plans to enact the measure.

"I'm determined to improve the safety and security of public transport in London and create a better environment for the millions of Londoners who rely on it," Johnson said.

The ban will apply to buses, underground trains, trams and stations.

However unions fear staff could be put in greater danger when they have to confront those breaking the ban, the RMT union called the booze ban "half-baked" and said it could lead to more assaults on Tube staff who will be in the front line against "aggressive drunken behaviour".

Zero tolerance
Tackling crime, particularly serious violence among young people, was one of the main planks of Johnson's election campaign and he has already vowed to put it at the forefront of his mayoralty.

"Public drinking and the behaviour sometimes associated with it can, and does, deeply affect people's ability to enjoy public spaces," said Don Shenker, Chief Executive of Alcohol Concern.

"Taking a firm approach to public drinking in this way sends a strong message that public drunkenness is socially unacceptable and will support both the public and transport staff."

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