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Drink, travel safe

Plan ahead and know how you can get home safely, say police to workers and others having a drink at night.

Insp Paul Doyle from the City of London Police Roads Policing Unit said: ‘If you’ve had a drink, it’s not safe to drive or cycle. If you find yourself needing to get a taxi home, always get a black cab o​r pre-book a private hire car through a licensed minicab operator that you trust. Throughout December, the City of London Police will be running operations to crack down on drink- and drug-driving to make the roads safer for all users.

‘The force is also providing an SOS Bus outside Liverpool Street Station on Thursday nights which can provide medical assistance and help people who need directions, their phone charging to get home, or who have become lost or separated from their friends.’

London Ambulance Service announcements are playing in Tube stations, reminding customers to take extra care when travelling, especially after drinking alcohol. Last year in London, the London Ambulance Service attended more than 63,000 alcohol related incidents across the city.

Police say that black cab and minicab drivers must have their ID showing their photograph and license details visible. Look for the official license plates and numbers on vehicles and ask to see the driver’s badge if it is not visible. If in doubt don’t get in, police advise. TfL (Transport for London) says that it will be stepping up their activity against unbooked minicabs and other illegal activity by targeting ‘priority locations’.

TfL has partnered with Westminster City Council and the LGBT Foundation on the Soho Angels initiative, where volunteers wearing pink reflective vests around Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road are offering support to people travelling late at night, including medical attention. Siwan Hayward, Director of Compliance and Policing at TfL, said: ‘The festive period is a time to celebrate and enjoy all that London has to offer. But safety is absolutely crucial, and we encourage everyone to travel safely and look out for each other.’


Meanwhile in Wales, British Transport Police’s (BTP) Operation Genesis will focus mainly on Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Newport and Swansea railway stations, although there will be an increased presence across the network over the month. With emphasis on Fridays and Saturdays, the operation will see more high-visibility patrols on trains and at stations, as well as covert policing to target anti-social behaviour, theft of passenger property and alcohol-related disorder. The aim; to prevent crime and stop people who are too intoxicated from travelling, as well as provide reassurance and personal safety advice to passengers.

The run-up to Christmas sees a spike in the number of intoxication incidents on the railway across Britain, including slips, trips and falls at stations as well as more serious trespass offences. Incidents rise to an average of 25 a day over Christmas across the UK – double the amount compared to previous months, and recent figures show a 30 per cent increase in alcohol-related incidents on the railway in the last decade. More than 4,300 hours of delays nationally were attributed to alcohol-related incidents last year.

Head of Security for Transport for Wales, Simon Turton said: “We want all our customers to be able to enjoy the festive period and most importantly, to get home safe. As such we will be working closely with our partners in the British Transport Police and Network Rail to keep all our customers and our colleagues safe with extra staff out at stations over the festive period. If you have had a few drinks please try to be respectful of other passengers and also be aware that if you are heavily intoxicated you may be refused travel.

“It may sound obvious, but stations can be dangerous places if you have had a drink so please do keep well back from the platform edge until your train has come to a stop and the doors are open.”

Passengers are advised to:
– stand back from the platform edge, behind the yellow line;
– hold onto the handrail on stairs and escalators;
– walk – not run;
– stay off the railway tracks; and
– use level crossings safely.


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