back to article Boris Johnson bans boozing on London transport

Newly-elected London mayor Boris Johnson has gone straight into attack mode and carried out his election pledge to ban boozing from London's public transport system, the BBC reports. London Transport's alcohol ban poster The blonde Tory bombshell declared: "I firmly believe that if we drive out so-called minor crime then we …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Try tackling the "serious crime" of charging long-suffering passengers three quid to travel 200 yards packed like veal calves en route to a French slaughterhouse

    Wow this beats walking. 200yard dash these days is _so_ hard for most people. Well at least I now have a solution to reduce those outgoing bills....

    Oh wait I left England just for those reasons.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 quid to travel 200 yards?

    What, are you too pissed to walk that far?

  3. Lloyd
    Thumb Up

    Oh Dear

    Bob Crowe's offered an opinion, couple that with the warm weather and we have a strike brewing.

  4. David Simpson


    basically I'm to be treated the same as a lager lout just because I happen to occasionally buy a can of Pimms to drink while commuting?

    I thought this guy was a tory - you know the sort who cracked down on the criminals rather than simply criminalising everybody.

  5. GrahamT

    Is this a dig at Ken

    The ex-Mayor liked a drink (allegedly) and always used public transport.

    Boris rides a bike to work, but will probably use a mayoral limo for the many official receptions. Will drinking be off-limits in limos too?

  6. Jack

    3 quid to travel 200 yards?

    Walk! Fair enough really, there isn't exactly a real need to drink on the tube/bus.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Boris "The Whirlwind" Johnson

    Two days in and BoJo is kicking up a storm in office......

    TFL getting told to kick whino's and chavs off the public transport system....

    The Met getting told he want's a crime tracking website up this week......

    Something tells me he's doing a lot of work now so he can kick back for a few years......

    He's an idiot though, as the more pressure he puts out the shitter the outcome is going to be......

  8. Paul Fleetwood
    Thumb Down

    a daft policy clearly dreamt up by someone who doesn't use public transport

    it's pretty clear what's going to happen here: people on their way home from work having a quiet beer on their journey are going to get hassled by busy body members of the public and the braver members of staff, whilst the seriously drunk and intimidating people will be left to it, as nobody will want the grief of getting involved.

    If he wanted to improve people's experience of public transport a large scale campaign to remove people who play tinny music out of the speakers of their mobile phones would be welcome; this daft policy on people drinking on the other hand is just show boating for the crowd, and will do nothing to enhance people's journeys, even in the unlikely event that it's enforceable

    Well done London for voting in this muppet, I hope those who did because they think he's a laugh are proud of themselves

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Three quid to travel 200 yards???

    Try walking! It'll sober you up

  10. Anonymous Coward

    a guy called boris

    will never scare chuck into not drinking on the tube....

    mines the one with the lager in its pocket

  11. Steve Kay

    On being charged 3 quid to travel 200 yards

    If you can't be arsed to walk 200 yards, you deserve to be fleeced 3 quid.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why are charities given tax benefits?

    Look at "Alcohol Concern" for example. They are a registered charity, typical outfit, interfering busy bodies lobbying for more laws as the cure for everything. So why do they get a tax break? What big advantage is it to society to have organisations lobby for more laws??

    Why does THEIR lobbying warrant a tax break, whereas my lobbying doesn't warrant a tax break?

    I wonder because it's not enough for a charity to 'do good', it has to do MORE GOOD than the taxes it's avoiding. Every pound diverted from taxes to a charity is money that could be spend in the things the charity wants. It also means collectively we pay more taxes to make up for these freeloading lobbyists.

  13. Russ

    "If we ban harmless things, then harmful things will magically disappear"

    A very wise blog post on this issue is here

    I'm a law abiding citizen, and this is definitely going to make london a worse place to live for me

  14. Ash

    What's this?

    A sensible idea from a politician? I wish I could have voted for him, but alas I am a Midlander.

    And as for your "£3 for 200 yards" comment, if you can't be bothered to walk that paltry distance (you probably walk further to your desk within your office building), you deserve to be charged the extortionate rates they get away with.

    Defence rests.

  15. Mr Chris

    This will piss off a lot of middle class types...

    ...quietly enjoying their canned G&T from M&S on the train on the way out of London. I was far from the only person doing this on the way home of an evening.

    Having said that, the train drivers' union has already said they won't be enforcing this, so who cares?

  16. Beelzeebub

    Dear Boris

    Can we stop them pissing on the seats too? It's all too devilish for me.

    No coat necessary, the last one vaporised.

  17. Tim


    So Boris won? How glad are Londoners to not have Red Ken? I doubt any of them will be able to tell one terrible failed politian-turned-mayor from the other.

    I am not bothered myself, but never could stand Ken, and being from Liverpool, found myself disliking a hither-to unheard of Boris when he made his Regionist and ill-founded comments about the scousers..... I was so angry, but my curly-permed, mustachioed brothers told me to "calm down" or i'd get my shelly wet.

    Enough of all this political balderdash.....get back to the brass tacks of Reg....What big company is trying to blast what little company into oblivion these days?


    "permission to enforce the bar"

    Sounds like a posh way to join a drinking group.

    El Reg why is there no *beer* icon yet?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Walk 200 yards?

    Careful there, you could spill your drink.

  20. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: 3 quid to travel 200 yards?

    There's no 'need' to drink on the tube, but er, that's kind of missing the point. Even if this would work or do any good, which it won't, it's nothing more than an initial territorial piddle in the shape of a cynical political gesture.

    Just for the record, I didn't vote for the berk.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jack: "no need"

    "there isn't exactly a real need to drink on the tube/bus."

    there aint a "need" for a whole load of things, but in a free society, you don't ban things because of their possible and occasional consequences - in this case, anti-social behaviour. You prosecute people who display the anti-social behaviour.

    There's no real need for alcohol at all. Why is it allowed in pubs, when people will quite possibly come out of those pubs and display anti-social behaviour? There's no real need. Why not ban it in pubs -- do it at home, if you must. Happy?

    It's just a politician pandering to a majority view, and in this case an oppressive one. I don't like to see people drinking on the tube either, but it's none of my business to be trying to stop them from this freedom. If they vomit on my shoes, different story.

  22. matt
    Thumb Down

    Whats the point?

    I don't think anyone would argue that people that have had to much to drink and are being a nuisance actually got drunk on public transport.

    Sure some people might be drinking while being a nuisance, but its the previous 5 drinks that made them act like that not the one in their hand.

  23. Rolf Harris

    A Tipping Point

    Changing the small things to fix the big things isn't so crazy. Sometimes, changing those things sends a signal to people that crime of any sort isn't tolerated. Cleaning graffiti, fixing broken windows and so on make an area seem to be better looked after and people whether subconciously or not start to treat the area better. Less drunkeness could well have the same effect. You can see the proof of the pudding in New York where little things like stopping fare dodging and cleaning the trains sent crime on the subway through the floor, and cleaning up the city lead to a gigantic fall in serious crime.

    It's not to make people's lives worse, but really - if you NEED to drink on the tube and can't wait until you get off, you should be seeking help for your alcoholism.

    (note: actually, I don't agree with the policy as I am a liberterian (look it up if you don't know what it is) but just pointing out that it could work)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    3 quid to travel 200 yards

    Most expensive trip is £4 for 260 metres, which works out at £2.82 for 200 yards, you idiot.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boris Johnson as mayor


    Couldn't have happened to a nicer City.

    The sooner you all realise democracy just doesn't work and make me emperor* the better. For everyone.

    *I am assuming that any group stupid enough to vote for Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone would jump at the chance to make me emperor. And perhaps buy some of these magic beans whilst you're at it?

  26. Colin Morris

    Tube travel cost to distance ratio...


    Try tackling the "serious crime" of charging long-suffering passengers three quid to travel 200 yards packed like veal calves en route to a French slaughterhouse


    I haven't lived in London for five years now but I presume you are talking about the rather pointless 'Leicester Square - Covent Garden' journey?

    ... It is time I think, to sort out the fact that a valid trip of one or two stops can cost as much as a much longer trip across the same zone particularly in zone one.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Why not demand the moon on a stick along the way?

    As a relatively recent newcomer to London (8 months here and counting) you lot really do take the piss in terms of what you like whingeing about. Hop over the Irish Sea and try living pretty much anywhere outside Dublin (or, hell, even *in* Dublin for that matter) and see what your Public Transport and specifically Public Transport Costs are like. The 200 yards trip on the tube may cost £3 but surely that high horse you're on could carry you all the way for free?

    While it's nice to see Boris attempt to actually do something, it would be nicer still if his goals weren't formulated to the general structure of:

    1. Generalised hand-wavey goal.

    2. ???

    3. Profit!

  28. James
    Thumb Up

    Hail Boris

    I for one am very pleased that Boris is Mayor of London. It means he's no longer my MP...

  29. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Where's The IT Angle Here?

    London is a fat too busy, overcrowded and rude cesspit of a place. Anything that helps lessen that is a positive in my book. It's a pity that branding isn't bought back as a punishment for the rude and manner less specimens who barge around tube and railway stations without any degree of politeness.

    Bob "Anything to improve London as long as we don't have to be the ones to do it or we'll strike" Crow is more of a waste of space that Ken ever was or Boris ever could be.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Out of bounds error

    I'm not sure how it's possible to drink on the Tube. Doing so requires one to bend one's arm, and this would breach the 16 square inches of floor space allocated to each upright ruminant.

  31. Bill Fresher

    @ Sarah Bee

    "Just for the record, I didn't vote for the berk."

    I didn't vote for a berk either... I didn't vote.

  32. Piers

    Ban everything

    Yes, that's the solution. Ban it. Like the handgun ban - now nobody carries a handgun...

    The only people who will cause a problem by drinking on public transport are the people who will just ignore the ban and carry on anyway.

  33. Christoph

    How will they tell?

    "No mate, this is Orange Juice - see, it says so on the bottle. What do you mean you think I've mixed vodka in it? Just how are you going to prove that?"

    Is the poor bloody driver supposed to drag someone off the tube on suspicion that he might have mixed alcohol in? When it will be thought 'funny' to fake being drunk to mess him up?

  34. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Where's The IT Angle Here?

    Oh dear, the old 'London is full of rude people' saw. Actually, I think you'll find it's full of very polite and personal-space-conscious people, otherwise it couldn't function, because we'd all be engaged in a city-wide mass brawl all the livelong day.

    I shan't start defending Bob Crow because you're clearly just dangling a worm there, aren't you. On a string, all the way from... whereabouts are you? Northampton? Cleethorpes? I'm so sorry.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A cunning plan

    This is clearly a cunning plan to reduce crime on London's public transport network. A cunning plan of which Baldrick would have been proud. Like all good ‘cunning plans’ it is, of course, nonsense.

    There’s going to be a lot of debate about whether or not this is a good idea, what I’m wondering is what it actually means. There is a prohibition against carrying ‘open containers’ of alcohol on TFL (Transport for London) infrastructure. This would presumably include the following

    (a) surgical spirit in a first aid kit that has been opened for previous use

    (b) environmentally friendly reusable bottles for wine (such as from the Borough market wine merchants)

    (c) home mixed drink; no more home mixed pims and lemonade being carried on the tube unless anybody has a way of resealing lemonade bottles they would like to share with everyone.

    The one good thing I will say about Borris’ victory is that if he keeps coming out with pointless ideas like this it might be good for Labour in the long term as it will damage the Conservative party.

  36. Adam
    Paris Hilton

    You pay your money ...

    ... and you take your choice.

    Just like the US got the president it deserved for the last 8 years, London's just got the Mayor it deserves.

    If you voted for him, I hope you are happy. Me? I live in the Midlands, so I can sit back an laugh.

    Paris - coz she's just as mad as Boris!

  37. Tom

    Ridiculous idea

    3 quid for 200 yards? If you're going to take extreme cases publicised in the Sun and suggest that's somehow normal, you can expect to get shot down. A more accurate figure would be the ten mile journey I can take across town with the Overground for a quid. That's around 1p for every 200 yards. Into town at peak times? £2.50 for six miles or so, about 5p for every 200 yards.

    Public transport in London isn't particularly expensive, although it rapidly might become so if Boris carries on the way he's started. Silly idea, over-nannyish, authoritarian, hurriedly implemented. Who says New Labour is dead? I think it's John Reid putting a blond wig and a funny voice on, personally.

  38. Trevor Watt

    No drinking on the Tube?

    Man, I will just have to get shit-faced before I get on then.

    Is it dinner time yet, damn it? I am off up the pub to get lashed anyway...

  39. Nìall Tracey

    Wrong headline!

    Big Bozza Bans Boozing on Buses!

  40. Chris


    "(note: actually, I don't agree with the policy as I am a liberterian (look it up if you don't know what it is) "

    Of course we know what the word for someone who tidies up books is.

  41. saltyknob

    @ Rolf Harris

    How exactly does refraining a pissed passenger from imbibing during a 5-30 minute tube journey reduce drunkeness? If BoJo wants to tackle the problem of drunken & abusive passengers he should change the conditions of travel so that inebriated persons can't travel. Back that up with significant Police presence on the Tube at closing time. Said pissed persons will either have to get a cab or walk.

    Surprising as it may seem I'm not some tut-tutting pious git. After a hard day being an alpha male IT geek I occasionally enjoy a pint or seven after work. Unsurprisingly, I'm pissed by the time I hop on the tube home. However, I'm never abusive during my journey. When hungover the next morning I don't vomit and pull the emergency handle either!

    I did vote but not for Bozo!

  42. David Hancock

    If he's into banning things...

    ...could he ban people dealing crack on the top deck of the No. 38?

    Thanks Bozzer. That'd be great. You could even be the one to go up there and tell them to bally well stop it.

  43. Joshua
    Thumb Up

    It's a pride thing

    I don't think we should discount the invincible feeling that comes not just from being under the influence, but letting everyone know you are in that state by proudly displaying your chosen method of intoxication and continuing to imbibe during the journey.

    Whilst I would prefer that all users of public transport were polite, sensible and pleasant, unfortunately there are plenty, especially on buses, who are downright rude and stupid and unpleasant. If taking away the ability to brandish their beer and alcopops improves their behaviour even slightly - or even better, gives the bus driver authority to kick them off - I'm all for it.

    Boris could hardly be worse than Ken either, no matter how crap some of his ideas might be. Rewarding politicians for cronyism and corruption only makes them bolder.

  44. Steve Evans


    "Try tackling the "serious crime" of charging long-suffering passengers three quid to travel 200 yards packed like veal calves en route to a French slaughterhouse"


    1) Get an oyster card...

    2) Look at an A-Z occasionally and learn how to walk from Leicester Square and Piccadilly circus the old fashioned way!

    I've heard of some people who have even gone as far as walking from Leicester Square to Embankment before, but I think that's just crazy talk.

  45. James
    Thumb Down

    Right target, wrong action

    Pissed-up and anti-social sods on public transport is indeed a major problem. Getting some of them arrested and severely punished for it would go far further than criminalising the folks who can drink quietly without causing a problem.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    little difference

    They are usually pissed thoroughly by the time they're on the train/bus and are carrying nothing. The guy who offered to "cut your [ie. my] throat" when I tried to help him was bladdered but had nothing liquid on him.

    The problems are more attitude than alcohol. Get a decent set of transport police actually on the vehicles and especially at night, when most aggro occurs, checking tickets (trouble usually doesn't bother paying) would solve most of it.

  47. Sceptical Bastard

    @Sarah Bee - in defence of Northants

    "Just for the record, I didn't vote for the berk."

    Yeah, but the dipstick still got in. And now you've gone public, he's got your number, sister, and is probably planning a Borisian charm offensive against you and El Reg.

    Oh, and what's with the jibe against Northampton? It's in the jolly ol' shires - good huntin' country, top hole scenery, ancestral home of the Spencers dontcha know?

    Whereas Cleethorpes really *is* the armpit of the British isles.

  48. David Hancock

    And another thing

    Drinking in public (including on public transport) has been banned in Glasgow for a lot longer than the seven years I've lived here. It makes absolutely no difference to the squads of neds getting mad wi' it on the Buckfast, but it does allow the cops to bust posh students on their way to parties.

    So that's all right then.

  49. H

    that's the end of...

    .... the circle line parties.

    @everyone moaning about the £3 for 200 yards quote.

    Please try and make a comparison with other cities' public transport. For example, Berlin:

    Day ticket Zones AB € 6,10

    This covers up to the city boundary. (There is a zone C)


    1 Day Travelcard Zones 1-4 £9.40

    For chrissakes, us Londoners need to drown our sorrows cos we're getting ripped off.

  50. Paul

    What will this achieve?

    You know, this is kinda pointless, you'll still get drinking on public transport, and the ones that are drinking will still mostly be offensive, agressive and generally annoying.

    Thing with making new laws is, anti-social idiots don't care anyway! The definition is kinda implied in the name... All that'll happen is the few people who decide to carry some booze around will get cracked down on and given silly fines, a few coppers and TfL staff will get stabbed or beaten or ridiculed and we'll be back where we started... except we'll have a lot more people in front of the courts and people crying out against the rising figures of alchohol convictions.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hang on...

    Boris won by 100,000 votes, so someone wants him (personally I would have voted for him if I lived in London). I'm actually surprised at how many people are moaning about him here.

    Oh and Tom - "New Labour is dead" - New Labour was just labour wanting to be more like the Conservatives.

    And just in case I don't start enough of an argument: God bless Margaret Thatcher

  52. Robert Hill

    About time...

    If you want to control yobbish behavior, you have to outlaw enough public yobbish gestures so that you can find something to stop them for. I travel on the Tube every day to get to work...and I rarely see the "middle class G&T drinkers coming home". No, who I see drinking is very much the yobbish hoodies and hard core alcoholics with their cans of Carling or Stella, or a bottle of vodka.

    I don't like the US for very much, but they do have public bans on the consumption of alcohol in most places, and definately on nearly all public transport. Funnily enough, they also have less public drunken behaviour and overall yobbishness - and I've lived in both New York and London in the last 5 years to compare. If the UK wants to actually clean up and stop the rampant yobs, then we will have to get used to the idea of giving up some things that we take for granted - there is no other way. Medicine never tastes good...

  53. Stewart Haywood

    'Ang on a minute

    If the problem is drunken louts causing a nuisence, isn't that a crime already?

    If so, perhaps the coppers who find looking at CCTV pictures hard work

    could get out there and do something easier like arresting drunks on busses.

    As for Boris, "I firmly believe that if we drive out so-called minor crime then we will be able to get a firm grip on more serious crime.", he isn't driving out a minor crime, he's inventing a new one! To be fair, with his hair style, rumpled suit, shirt hanging out and bags under his eyes, he looks as though he knows a bit about drinking out of a brown paper bag on a bus. Maybe he is right.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot, no pub car?

    Boris has missed a sure bet. Pub cars would be quite popular, especially on those lines (all of them?) that suffer from constant equipment failures. The profits could be used to modernise the lines, thereby providing a bit of negative feedback to the system and limiting the number of passengers getting pissed.

    Ah well. Boris can take his prohibition and go straight to... oh wait, he's already in London.

  55. Bad Beaver
    Paris Hilton


    Yeah, tell you what, over here in good old Germany, in the big city by the river(tm), it is forbidden to

    - drink alcohol

    - consume drugs of any kind

    - smoke

    - play music in a way that bothers others

    - beg

    on public transportation. We even have video surveillance on trains and busses. And guess what, nobody gives a toss, so you might face drunken, crack-smokin' (sometimes just weed) beggars asking you for €, or young folks who down a bottle of vodka (each) on their way downtown weekends, or soccer fans trying to tip over the train by synchronised jumping, or just the regular "angry young men" wipes looking for trouble, just waiting for you to ask them to turn down the damn mobile so they have an excuse. If you are caught with something obvious—like smoking on the train—by security, they will actually bother to throw you out, but there is only so much personell. I guess all this comes with being a "city", the general problem being the crowding of a lot of people who know no shame about inflicting themselves and their vices on others. So unless you ban being a selfish ill bred bastard, it won't help much.

    Although, they might start shooting offenders in the head, it's London after all.

    Paris, because she'll just use the limo. Good girl.

  56. Jim

    Bloody Stupid Johnson

    Thought he was a landscape gardner and inventor although this latest idea does seem to conform with his past productions

  57. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Oh well

    Oh well , those that fail to learn the lessons in history are but doomed to repeat the same mistakes endlessly for eternity !

  58. Stephen Coshott

    Re: 3 quid to travel 200 yards?

    Has London transport stopped selling those handy day travelcard thingies since I moved ?

  59. Anonymous Coward

    not very unusual

    What is the big deal? Alcohol is banned on all public transport I have ever experienced in the US: on the east coast, west coast, and in the middle. Most have bans outright on any type of food or drink consumption. I've never had a pleasant experience when coming across those breaking the rules in public transport, they always seem crazy or looking to brawl. I don't think such bans are "nannyish" but are intended to protect the public at large from the behaviors of a few.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    next policy?

    Can we look forward to any more alliterative policies?

    Boris Bans Bonking (not likely)

    Mayor Mandates Marxism (even less likely)

  61. J-Wick
    Thumb Down



  62. Howard

    Let's have a drink

    Tokenism, pure and simple! Like all other bans.

    Remember this comes from the man who's acceptance speech included;

    "Tomorrow we'll get cracking, tonight we'll have a drink!"

    Hope we can get access to the CCTV footage, to make sure he didn't ride the tube home with some demon alcohol in his mitt, though I'm sure he could have carried enough in his prematurely fat gut.

    Mine's the one with the BS detector going critical........

  63. Martin Usher

    No eating, drinking and stuff is normal practice everywhere else.

    You can drink on your public transport? We'd get nailed two ways:-

    -- Drinking anything (including water) is a no-no (local transit laws)

    -- Drinking alcohol in public is also no-no (various and sundry laws)

    I don't know if it keeps the rowdies down but it cuts down on litter and other messes.

    Live with it. You'll like it.

    We get fleeced $1.25 to go pretty much anywhere (I think the most I've ever spent at one time was $7 for an all-day pass). What use is public transport if people can't afford to use it?

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    They should ban it for drivers..

    Wasn't there a strike at some point because London Underground wanted to sack some people found to be drinking at work? I can't quite recall the details (it was a while back) but I remember wondering how the union could possibly defend that sort of action.

  65. Dangermouse

    My input as a Londoner...

    First of all, read the article. It's not about banning Pims on trains out of London, its about drinking on the Tube and the Buses. Personally, I enjoy a drink or 8, but have _never_ drunk on a tube or a bus. I think it is anti-social, when the tube is anti-social at the best of times.

    As for the minimum fair, 3 quid _is_ fair.

    If you are going to winge about "3 quid to travel 600 yards" then my answer to you is "fucking walk".

    I am hugely appreciative of the London transport system, and understand how much better it is compared to the rest of the country. And, honestly, I am not trying to rub anybody elses nose in the brown stuff - I wish this country could take it's head out of its own arse and make the rest of the country comparible.

    Now, take the example of the group of Liverpool fans down for their "first trip out in the big city". Maybe if they knew that that they could not drink on the tube, getting pissed up, shouting abuse and making other people a little more scared than they really should be on a Saturday afternoon....then, perhaps, maybe, it might well make life just a little better for the rest of the world, just for a few minutes.

    And isn't that, in the end, better for all of us?

  66. Anonymous Coward

    What ill-informed tripe in this forum

    Given that most countries in the world (including the UK) have laws around to prevent people getting wasted on the streets, and do this to try and control anti-social behaviour, I don't see why a mass transit system like the tube or buses shouldn't be included. Especially when you pair it with the policy to provide a whole sack full of Police Community Support Officers' on mass transit to police it better.

    Now funnily enough, in all my years' commuting on the tube, I never actually saw routine commuters sinking beers on train because they were so wedged in that it was impossible to move, let along drink. Where I did see drinking was generally from pissed up louts causing trouble. As far as I can see Boris knows more about London public transport than most of the ill-informed idiots on this forum.

    Also looking at his policies, I think Boris will actually be very good for London. Strangely enough a large percentage of London seems to agree. And nothing can be as bad as Red Ken, who tried to control congestion with a new tax, but then restored it all again by blocking all lanes of most roads with ridiculous bendy buses. Of course, along the way, Red Ken seemed to be running every corrupt scam going - at least Boris is already pretty well off so won't need corruption...

  67. Anonymous Coward


    Of course we know what it is, its an inhabitant of Liberty City, hence you knowing so much about small crime, and gang violence.

    Mines the one with the map to my local ammunation in the pocket...

  68. Ed

    Small vs Big

    I'd say it's the middle sized issues that need to be looked at. Banning drinking on London transport is just *too* small for most people to care. People would rather not be mugged by 15 year old boys with knives - that has nothing to do with drinking...

  69. Simon Harris
    Thumb Up

    Right, that settles it...

    ... I'm moving to Helsinki :)

  70. Howard


    If you're gonna ban drinking anywhere associated with mass public travel, start with airports and in particular on the aircraft themselves.

    Ridculous practice, altogether.

    Oops, he isn't responsible for that yet is he....?

    Mine's the one stuffed full of miniatures........

  71. Joseph Haig

    @ Sarah Bee and Bill Fresher

    "'Just for the record, I didn't vote for the berk.'

    "I didn't vote for a berk either... I didn't vote."

    Just for the record, I voted against there being a mayor in 1998.

  72. Kate

    Re: 3 quid to travel 200 yards?

    To all those suggesting that people should walk the 200 metres, spare a thought for the disabled who cannot walk that far. I'd be pushing it to walk 50 metres. let alone the 200. Hmmm just a thought is London Transport now discriminating agains the disabled?

    Also I might point out that such a law will be massively ignored. Queensland Rail have a 'no drinks no food' rule on all suburban trains, and I've never yet seen it enforced! Same with the Council buses. Like a lot of pointless laws, nobody cares or obeys them.

  73. Fresher

    summer on the tube: bring water

    They (used to) encourage passengers to carry water when traveling on the antiquated tube during summer. They can't know if your water bottle contains alcohol without detaining you and testing.

    Now there's another excuse to detain people without reasonable cause. "They woz on public transport, they looked drunk init, they woz drinking something, so we shot them".

    But this is all for our own good, what really gets me annoyed is that I imagine foreigners who don't have to pay the UK TV license might be able to watch the BBC over the internet.

  74. kain preacher

    All I can say is wow

    I guess I'm use to the fact that in America there is not one public transit system that allows you to drink or have an open container. Very few cites in America will allow to walk down the street and drink.

  75. Equin0x

    3 quid to travel 200 yards - uhmm

    3 quid to travel 200 yards ? London buses are only £2 without an Oyster card.

  76. Graham Lockley

    @(yet another)AC

    >And just in case I don't start enough of an argument: God bless Margaret Thatcher

    Standards of edification are constantly dropping, its clear that you mistyped 'bless' for 'take'


  77. Anonymous Coward

    I don't need a lecture from

    a former member of the Bullingdon Club on what is acceptable public behaviour.

    What a wanker.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What's the big deal?

    Banning consumption of booze on the bus isn't exactly ground breaking or world shaking news is it? As far as policies go, it's one of the more sensible ideas Boris has had so far. God help us if he implements any others though. But hey, not having empty(ish) lager cans rolling around and spilling contents everywhere and rowdy groups of yoofs treating the back of the bus like their own drinking den might make a nice change. Why so much hostility? It's not like he's banning cheese and wine summer parties for all the middle class toffs, is it? Get a grip and worry about something worth worrying about.

  79. Steve Roper

    You guys have it easy

    You can drink alcohol in public, let alone on public transport? Wow, I wish! In Adelaide, not only is alcohol consumption on public transport banned, you aren't even allowed to eat or drink anything at all on buses and trains. In fact, alcohol consumption in ANY public place except licenced premises is banned. And the police here are harder on this than on pot smoking!

    The solution of course is simple and obvious: put your tipple of choice into a soft-drink container (preferably a can so the liquid colour doesn't give it away). Keep your old soft-drink cans for this purpose, and get some of those plastic can-sealers so you can carry them about without spilling. Then you can drink all you like; while the busybodies around you see you drinking from a Coke can, you're actually swilling Beam and cola! Of course, this doesn't help when you can't drink anything on public transport, but in your case you can... and it works for me when I'm out in town and want to drink without being hassled for it.

    In a world where freedom and choice have been destroyed by despotism and tyranny, in which no resistance is possible, the only way to extract any enjoyment of life is by perfecting the arts of deception, secrecy and evasion.

  80. John Uhercik

    @ kain preacher... There is still one..

    I guess I'm use to the fact that in America there is not one public transit system that allows you to drink or have an open container.


    You can still drink on the Long Island Rail Road in New York. They even

    sell beer and other mixed drinks on the platform at Penn Station. (for too

    much money, BYOB instead) The last train out of Manhattan at about

    3 AM is often refered to as the "Drunk Train" by staff and knowlegeable

    passengers. It can be an entertaining ride, if you pick a spot out of the

    way of the totally hammered idiots.

    ...Mines the one with the bottle of Samuel Smith in the pocket..

    It can be a little tough to find over here sometimes.

  81. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Stop whinging. If you can't walk fifty metres how the hell you gonna get to the platform?

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eating and drinking banned here

    Here in Hong Kong, eating and drinking (of any type) is banned on busses, the MTR (metro) and generally all forms of public transport. Drunkenness isn't a problem here - I don't think I've seen a single drunk person in the 1 1/2 years I've been here. But for crowded public transport, it really does make sense to prevent people from eating and drinking because it creates a mess.

    Not entirely to the point I agree, since in this case it's clearly just a ban on people drinking alcohol.

  83. Steven Burn

    Pointless ....

    .... booze, food and smoking have been banned here up North on public transport for years and I've seen only a handful of people take notice (only time you're at risk of getting caught for it is on match days when there's actually police or those apparently helpful (my arse they are) folk from Nexus present - even then they tend to do very little if they see someone doing such.

  84. jamie



    It's fair to say that most people in HK flout the MTR rules anytime they feel hungry or thirsty though, and at some stations they even sell food and drink inside the wickets.

    As for London, I'm amazed to discover that alchol wasn't banned on the mass transit system at least Boris is bringing the city Kicking and screaming into the 20th centuary.

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Use the tube to travel 200yards

    Never mind the three quid. No wonder you're a bloater. Try walking you git.

  86. Rodney Sloan

    You're lucky

    Those living in London should be glad for the Tube. You might not think it works well or is very pleasant, but it's something many people would never get to enjoy.

  87. Anonymous Coward

    Killjoy! Cart... horse?

    Boris, Boris, Boris... get rid of the bendies first before even thinking about prising the beer from my cold, dead, hand! It is the shambolic state of the transport system that a) was one of the reasons that drove me away from the city and b) having to drink to cope with it!

    Mine's the one with the Tennant's Super in the inside pocket whilst listening to the latest 50 Cent crap being tinned out by some yoot's Nokia 5500 whilst sardined on the number 25...

  88. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Perhaps I've missed the point but I don't see how Boris can ban it on trains since he only has power over London. Quite a few people who commute for over an hour like to have a drink on the train - in fact most decent train operators (obviously excluding London Midland) sell alcohol. Boris can ban it on the tubes and buses but once I've escaped London he doesn't have the power to tell me I can't have a drink.

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This edict is clearly...


    Excellent, I now have another way to use my word :)

  90. GrahamT
    Paris Hilton

    The real reason?

    In yesterday's paper it said that one of the reasons that drinking on public transport was to be banned, was that publicans and club owners had claimed that their takings had dropped as people drank on the bus/tube so didn't drink as much when they got to the pub.

    This is either:

    1 utter b*****ks, unless the publicans have proof for their accusations, or

    2 a cynical sop to the licensed victuallers' profits at the expense of personal liberty.

    Other cities allow drinking in public, and on public transport, (Paris comes to mind - no not that one; the city) and don't seem to have a problem with drunkeness.

    Last time I caught a London night bus, I was drunk, everyone else was drunk, and the atmosphere was fine. I don't think anyone drinking on the bus would have made the slightest difference to that.

  91. Andus McCoatover

    @Simon Harris

    Yep, been on it. Also, in Tampere (about 200Km north of Helstinki) there's a Routemater double-decker converted to a rolling bar.

    Pisser is - neither has a pisser. Crossed legs all round (although pissing in the street is antisocial, no-one does fuc*k all about it)

    -Andy, Oulu, Finland.

  92. Anonymous Coward


    Elect a conservative and you get what other places have which have done so. You'll have things done in the name of the 'greater good' which will benefit the mates of Boris and stuff anyone else over and on top of that an even greater level of personal liberties will be struck off.

    I come from a place where there isn't booze allowed on transport, but i can tell you now, you still get a similar % of idi'ts on there drunk, they just spend more time at the pub/etc and then go on the merry way. I'd love to see them take on some sports fans after a match, maybe we'll get to see the riots which previously infamously happened at matches now on trains when someone tries to tell a group not to drink.

    Also where in this law is any distinction between types of drinking, someone having a casual drink and not disturbing the peace is entirely different from a drunken houligan making a fool out of themselves.

  93. Mr Larrington
    Paris Hilton

    @Richard Drysdall

    "I don't think I've seen a single drunk person in the 1 1/2 years I've been here."

    That's coz there haven't been any British squaddies there since 1999...

    Anyway, for my next birthday, a hip flask.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well there goes the kiwi vote

    My main concern is the venerable tradition of the Waitangi day circle line pub crawl.

    The best day out for Kiwis in london, those who've been lucky/unlucky enough to be on the circle line on the closest sat to the 6th Feb will have seen the c.10,000 young drunken kiwis heading for westminster. We've never had any problems with the police in previous years (there's always a heavy but polite police prescence) so will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

  95. Upaya

    4 years of ken dodd

    the prat aint even a Londoner and the majority that voted for him are not even in London... they may be in 'The London Borough of...' but London is a city and the suburbanites from Dagenham, Richmond or Ruislip opinion should not count for other peoples city. notice how ken would have won the real London election.

    banning alcohol on public transport will only create the resentment that fuels anti-social behaviour.

    in order for balance I demand drug searches for every toff bar and restaurant, as cocaine doesn't just lead to anti-social behaviour but is itself directly responsible for everything from gun running, murders, exploitation etc

  96. alistair millington
    Thumb Up

    right or wrong

    A politician that is doing what his manifesto said he would do. Now that is rare.

    Of course I don't live in or near London and hate the place so I have the luxury of not needing the tube.


    You know a tory would never have random searches for coke. Most of their mates do it and can you imagine community support offciers going in and asking. (Afterall there is too few cops to prosecute coke users now, they are all off ignoring BT and phorm or arresting people for shouting at politicians.)

  97. Elmer Phud

    Who will do the policing?

    And who, exactly, will be doing the anti-booze patrols?

    The Tories got rid of train guards, are we now led to believe that they are a good idea after all? Will it be just more expense for CCTV on tubes - only the guilty have anything to fear etc. etc. - an anti-booze Stasi-like informer in every carriage.?

    'Concerned citizens?' -- "By the power invoked in my by carrying a copy of the Daily Mail, I arrest you on suspicion of having booze on the tube. I say, unhand me you lot, you can't do that . . . "

    It's like his idea to bring back Routemasters - times have changed, things moved on and all too expensive to implement.

    Well, some of you tossers voted for him, now suffer for it.

    Mine's the one draped over my bike.

  98. Andus McCoatover

    Er, hang on...

    Bleeding stupid thought. Aren't piss-heads supposed to use public transport? Or, should they preferably drive home (Designated Drunk, etc) so us 'normal' passengers don't get aggro.

    Aren't busses provided so as we can gan yem to t' missus after getting Mullah'd* wi' the lads?

    Next, they'll be insisting on "smart casual dress" (Sorry Jesus, No fuck*ing sandals)

    * Mullah'd == having a face like an Ayatollah. PS Bugger off, Muslim Extremists.

  99. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Ban Junk Food!

    There's nothing worse than the stench of someone's Burger King and watching them wipe mayonnaise over their face.... people drinking stella or shooting up heroin are definitely less offensive.....

    Paris, because she loves getting her face covered in mayo....

  100. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not follow the teenagers' solution

    Voddie and cola, premixed in a cola bottle.....

  101. K

    @ David Hancock re: the top deck of the No. 38

    "ban people dealing crack on the top deck of the No. 38"? The world finally came to an end when the number 38 ceased to be a Routemaster and transfigured into a bendy bus some years ago. So top deck dealing would take some doing...

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "To all those suggesting that people should walk the 200 metres, spare a thought for the disabled who cannot walk that far. I'd be pushing it to walk 50 metres. let alone the 200. Hmmm just a thought is London Transport now discriminating agains the disabled?"

    If you're disabled to that degree then in my opinion you should get help with transport costs. If you don't then in my view that sucks more than not being able to drown your sorrows.

  103. Steen Hive

    @David Simpson

    "I thought this guy was a tory - you know the sort who cracked down on the criminals rather than simply criminalising everybody."

    Ah you maybe weren't born when that authoritarian traitorous witch Thatcher decided to go after the miners & sundry other ordinary working people. Everything that followed her has just been more of the same. British Conservatism is infested with thinly disguised fascists and now Labour are hanging on their coat-tails after selling out to get elected.

    I can't see a pathetic spiv like Boris doing a Red Ken - telling his own party to fuck off and standing on a truly principled platform, can you?

  104. Slaine

    booze on buses

    well, that does explain the dreadful standard of london bus driving at least.

  105. Anonymous Coward

    to right

    Drunks should be put back where they belong, behind the wheel of a car.

  106. Fresher

    Drink driving

    "Drunks should be put back where they belong, behind the wheel of a car."

    As Dave Allen once said: more car accidents are caused by people who smoked before driving rather than drank alcohol before driving - which means they should get the smokers off the road and make it a safer place for drinkers.

  107. Andy Davies

    Tory gents -

    will of course still be able to get bladdered at the dining car bar on the 18:05 to Brighton - won't they?

    AndyD 8-)#

  108. unsung rob
    Paris Hilton

    @Dan Hancock

    ..could he ban people dealing crack on the top deck of the No. 38?

    Isn't the 38 a bendy bus (no top deck)?

    So whats the bet that half a dozen youfs in hoods and hats talking loudly in their daft slang constitutes anti-social behaviour but 6 horah-Henrys obnoxious guffawing is just Friday night fun?

    You could start by cleaning up the blatant white and brown industry in every public space in the west end/soho after 8pm but that involves that dreaded police work.

    Paris knows where to hide her bottle of babycham.

  109. Dave Smith
    Paris Hilton


    Boris, What an idiot. Who will police this?

    I certainly wont approach a large group of drunks and ask them not to drink, or expect anybody else inc Paris or those who work for the underground to do so. They get enough abuse as it is.

    Another reason to leave london now the conservatives are taking over.

    * get rid of the congestion charging in Chelsea and Kensington (the only 2 areas that can afford it)

    * scrap the idea of Chelsea 4X4's paying more

    * ban drinking on the tube, which People from Chelsea don't use.

    * public transport costs increase to compensate, which people from Chelsea don't use.

    Where does rich Boris live again?

    How is this helping the average person in London?

  110. Martin


    "Where does rich Boris live again?"

    Boris lives in Highgate, not Chelsea.

    And for all the "ZOMG teh evil torees!" posts, which party has consistently for the past 10 years raised and introduced every concievable tax on the working poor? Which party has talked about the economy and then royally f*cked over every firm smaller than Tescos? Which party has been stuffing their own pockets with our ever increasing tax funds, offering unlikely planning permissions, lordships and MBEs to their close personal friends and buying central London flats for themselves from convicted con-artists, with our money?

    The answer is of course Labour.

    Stop thinking about what a bloke in the pub reckoned each political party is like in 1989, and look at what they've actually done.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not...

    I'm not really that bothered about this law, bring it on i say... Frankly, if you can't make a simple journey without needing a blast of alcohol I'd say you have bigger issues to deal with... Unfortunately, it wont get rid of the pissed up suits who spend their journeys talking about the size of their nuts...

  112. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Why not...

    I think we all have a bigger issue to deal with, don't we? It's very easy to get something like this passed because on the face of it it seems like a good thing - drinking on public transport is a pretty skanky activity, most would agree, and wouldn't it be that tiny bit more pleasant for all of us without it, etc. But, tiresome as it may be, this is a personal freedom thing. I'm a perfectly decorous traveller and if I want to have a drink from the fridge on my way out for the night, I think I should be able to do that without being put in the same bracket as some anti-social, intimidating little bastard.

    In any case, you need to think about how long it is in these instances before laws will come in that do affect you, even if the initial steps like this one don't bother you. It's not all just about you, you know.

    I wonder where they're going to stand on shandy.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Martin

    "which party has consistently for the past 10 years .......... The answer is of course Labour."

    Yes, because labour were in power. If the conservatives get into power then 10 years down the line this answer will of course be the conservatives.

  114. Moss Icely Spaceport

    No more sucking tubes on the tube?

    Well bugger me sideways and call me Shirley!!

  115. David Hancock

    @K & unsung rob

    Ah, it's been seven years since I left London so that one had passed me by.

    I'll get me coat.

  116. Sceptical Bastard

    @ "No more sucking tubes on the tube?"

    If you insist, Shirley. Get over here and drop yer trousers...

    @ Sarah - you drink *shandy*???

  117. Jamie Kephalas

    @ AC Posted Wednesday at 15:36

    Too right my friend, this is the type of reason I left london after 17 years.

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