21 December 2015
RMT Press Office:
'Enjoy yourself and stay safe' - message from British Transport Police, ScotRail and trade unions.
British Transport Police (BTP), ScotRail and trade unions are urging anyone using the rail network during the Festive period to enjoy themselves, stay safe and to respect the rail staff working at this time.
The number of BTP officers at stations and on trains will be increased at key times and party-goers are being reminded that anti-social behaviour fuelled by excessive alcohol will not be tolerated and those who over-indulge run the risk of being refused rail travel.
Superintendent Kyle Gordon, head of operations for the Scotland Division of BTP, said:
"We want everyone to have an enjoyable time and we are here to make sure that you get home safely and without hindrance from others. BTP patrols will be increased to help reassure passengers and remember that members of rail staff are there to help and assist you, not to be abused in any way.
"I would urge anyone using the rail network, especially those who do not use the trains at any other time of the year, to make sure you have your travel arrangements in place and particularly know when your last train home is.
Phil Verster, Managing Director of the ScotRail Alliance said:
"This is one of the busiest times for Scotland's railway. In towns and cities across our country tens of thousands of people are using our trains to go shopping or to have a night out. Our staff are there to make sure that they get home safely at the end of the night.
"The overwhelming majority of people travel home safely and in good spirits. Unfortunately some people do lose sight of the fact that this is the season of goodwill and decide to abuse our staff. This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable. We will always make sure that anyone who abuses our staff is reported to the BTP.
"Please do enjoy the festive period responsibly and show consideration for others."
Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF organiser in Scotland, said:
'It's the time of the year when people go out with friends, family, and workmates and have a few drinks. On the railway we're used to seeing people, at the end of hard day's night, struggling to get home when they are well the worse for wear. And we're here to help them get home safely.
'But all of us who work on the railway - the drivers I represent and their colleagues who work on trains, at the platform and on the track have an absolute right to come to work without the fear of being verbally abused or physically assaulted.
'So in this run-up to Christmas, and the New Year, I am asking people who travel by train to treat the staff in the way that you, too, would like to be treated. And then we can all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.'
Mick Hogg from transport union RMT, said:
"This is a great time of year to meet up with friends, catch up with family and go out for the traditional office party. We all like to enjoy ourselves, but I would ask that everyone remembers and considers the great job that people on the railway are doing to get them home safely.
"Abusing staff, or threatening them with violence is just not acceptable."