Smoking ban on coaches

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The Independent Online
THE COACH company National Express, which carries 12 million passengers a year, is to ban smoking on its services.

Keith Jones, its customer services director, said yesterday: 'Customer research now confirms that as many as nine out of every 10 passengers - including many smokers - prefer complete smoke-free express travel.

'From 1 November all services - to over 1,200 destinations daily - will be smoke-free. We know that this has the full support of the vast majority of our regular customers.'

A campaign to make people aware of the ban will feature a light-hearted Sir Walter Raleigh character.

Health Minister Brian Mawhinney congratulated National Express on its decision.

But Chris Tame, director of the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking (Forest), said: 'We are very disappointed to hear this.

'Most coaches are well equipped with air conditioning and there should be no problem in having an area for smokers at the back of the coach.'