When I see somebody slugging from a can on the train my first reaction is to slowly back away and head to the next carriage. The problem is that if you do this on a GNER train you will end up in the
smoking coach where not only is visibility reduced to 5cm due to all the smoke, but half the passengers seem to be drinking as well.
Here’s The Sunday Timesâ€™ take on the government’s proposed ban:
But commuters who enjoy a quiet drink on the train home would also be banned from relaxing with a glass of wine or gin and tonic.
I don’t think I have ever seen a commuter “relaxing with a glass of wine” on the train. The only people I ever see drinking on the train are smelly old men, and it’s not wine, it’s Tennents Super.
The first time I saw somebody drinking on the train I thought, “isn’t that illegal?” I then concluded that it can’t be because they sell bottles on the train itself. But I mean, drinking is already illegal in the street. If I were to list the places where I would choose to ban drinking first, public transport would be considerably higher than the street.
Why is drinking in the street banned then? I just don’t understand the disparity. I would have thought drunkards on the train are far more dangerous than ones in the street. I mean, if somebody starts to go insanely drunk on the train you can’t run away or anything. You just have to put up with this mad drunkard in a confined space and travelling at 100mph or something.
Anyway, I’m not too sure about banning drinking on trains. Unlike smoking, the guy drinking a few rows in front of you isn’t doing a great deal of harm to others around him, unless he is actually being violent, which is illegal anyway. Drinking itself isn’t a menace.
When I went on the train last weekend there was a group behind me in the train making an incredible amount of noise for the entire journey. They might have been drinking on the train, but they might not; I couldn’t see. Maybe they had been drinking before they got on the train, in which case any ban would be useless. Maybe they were just loud because they were in a large group.
But as uncomfortable as it is for the other passengers, banning loud folk from getting on the train would never work either, because that would mean banning every screaming child from trains forever. Actually, maybe that ban is a good idea after all…
In seriousness though, it seems that all that the government is doing at the moment is banning stuff. And arguing about whether or not it’s banning enough stuff enough.
(I don’t suppose this proposal, if it were to become law, would even affect Scotland, but it seems to be the main story of the day so I might as well have an opinion on it.)