Monday 4 Jun 2007


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Smoking at stations will become a thing of the past on Britain’s railways from Sunday 1 July when the government’s legislation prohibiting smoking in public places in England comes into effect. This brings the railways in England into line with the similar ‘smoke-free’ legislation in Scotland and Wales. From 6am on Sunday 1 July, smoking will be prohibited on all station concourses, ticket halls, on platforms – covered and uncovered - and footbridges and subways at station premises. Also retail and food outlets will be covered. This will affect all 1,900 railway stations in England and also applies to railway offices - station offices, canteens and workplace areas which are covered by the legislation. However, smoking will still be permitted on most station forecourts and in (uncovered) station car parks. George Muir, Director General of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: “The new law will lead to a cleaner smoke-free environment at all of Britain’s 2,500 stations. Smoking has been prohibited on trains for some years, and the railways are now playing their part to comply with smoke-free legislation that has been broadly welcomed in Scotland and Wales.” Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s Director of Operations and Customer Service said: “The era of smoky stations is coming to an end. Passengers will be able to enjoy smoke-free concourses and platforms just as they have enjoyed smoke-free trains. This will support all the work that Network Rail and the train operators are doing to improve the passenger experience at stations all over the country.” A smoke-free policy has been in place on all train services across Britain from some years and, due to fire regulations, at some sub-surface stations in England such as Birmingham New Street and London Liverpool Street. The railway is now preparing for the introduction of the legislation in July with leaflets, posters and announcements alerting passengers at stations and on trains. While the legislation affects covered or partially-covered premises, the railways are using existing railway bye-laws to extend the smoke-free environment to all uncovered platforms and footbridges for reasons of practicality and simplicity. The public strongly supports the smoke-free policy as it affects railway stations. Results from a recent Omnibus survey of more than 1,000 people conducted for ATOC shows 75% of people support the end of smoking at railway stations with only 21% against.

Notes to editors

What does the law do? The law will prohibit smoking in ‘no-smoking premises’ in England by: • creating an offence of smoking in no-smoking premises • creating an offence of permitting others to smoke in no-smoking premises • creating an offence of failing to display warning notices in no-smoking premises • setting out the powers of enforcement officers to enter no-smoking premises • creating an offence of failing without reasonable cause to give one’s name and address on request by an enforcement officer The following will apply to the railways in England from 1st July: Location Smoking / No Smoking Station premises including corridors, lifts, toilets, waiting rooms, reception areas, waiting rooms and shelters etc; railway offices No smoking On trains No smoking Platforms and footbridges – covered, uncovered and partially covered; Subways No smoking Areas external to the station such as most uncovered car parks and station forecourts Smoking permitted About ATOC The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the official voice for the passenger rail industry - representing train companies to the government and other opinion formers on transport policy issues. Britain's train operators are working together to change rail travel for the better. ATOC manages many joint activities for train operators including revenue allocation and settlement, impartial retailing, National Rail Enquiries, Railcard marketing, staff travel arrangements, international products and travel agent licensing.

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